November 7, 2017 - Issue: Vol. 163, No. 181 — Daily Edition115th Congress (2017 - 2018) - 1st Session
SENATE RESOLUTION 323--REQUIRING SEXUAL HARASSMENT TRAINING FOR MEMBERS, OFFICERS, EMPLOYEES, INTERNS, AND FELLOWS OF THE SENATE AND A PERIODIC SURVEY OF THE SENATE; Congressional Record Vol. 163, No. 181
(Senate - November 07, 2017)
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[Pages S7065-S7066] From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov] SENATE RESOLUTION 323--REQUIRING SEXUAL HARASSMENT TRAINING FOR MEMBERS, OFFICERS, EMPLOYEES, INTERNS, AND FELLOWS OF THE SENATE AND A PERIODIC SURVEY OF THE SENATE Mr. GRASSLEY (for himself, Mrs. Feinstein, Ms. Klobuchar, Mrs. Ernst, Mrs. Gillibrand, Mrs. Capito, Mr. Johnson, Ms. Murkowski, and Mr. Booker) submitted the following resolution; which was referred to the Committee on Rules and Administration: S. Res. 323 Resolved, SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE. This resolution may be cited as the ``Senate Training on Prevention of Sexual Harassment Resolution'' or the ``STOP Sexual Harassment Resolution''. SEC. 2. DEFINITIONS. In this resolution-- (1) the term ``covered office'' means an office, including a joint commission or joint committee, employing employees of the Senate; (2) the term ``covered position'' means a position as-- (A) a Member, officer, or employee of the Senate; (B) an intern or fellow serving in a position in a covered office-- (i) without regard to whether the intern or fellow receives compensation; and (ii) if the intern or fellow does receive compensation, without regard to the source of compensation; or (C) a detailee serving in a position in a covered office, without regard to whether the service is on a reimbursable basis; (3) the term ``employee of the Senate'' means an individual whose pay is disbursed by the Secretary of the Senate, without regard to the term of the appointment; (4) the term ``head of a covered office'' means-- (A) the Member, officer, or employee of the Senate having final authority to appoint, hire, discharge, and set the terms, conditions, or privileges of the employment of the employees of the Senate employed by a covered office; or (B) in the case of a joint committee or joint commission, the Senator from the majority party of the Senate who-- (i) is a member of, or has authority over, the covered office; and (ii)(I) serves in the highest leadership role in the committee or commission; or (II) if there is no such leadership role for a Senator in the committee or commission, is the most senior Senator on the committee or commission; (5) the term ``officer'' means an elected or appointed officer of the Senate; and (6) the term ``sexual harassment'' means harassment that constitutes discrimination because of sex that is prohibited under section 201 of the Congressional Accountability Act of 1995 (2 U.S.C. 1311). SEC. 3. SEXUAL HARASSMENT TRAINING. (a) In General.--The Committee on Rules and Administration of the Senate shall issue rules as expeditiously as possible requiring each individual serving in a covered position to periodically complete sexual harassment training provided by the Office of Compliance or the Office of the Senate Chief Counsel for Employment. (b) Requirements.--The rules issued under subsection (a) shall require that-- (1) an individual elected, appointed, or assigned to a covered position after the date on which the rules are issued who was not serving in a covered position immediately before being so elected, appointed, or assigned shall complete training described in subsection (a) not later than 60 days after the date on which the individual assumes the position; (2) an individual serving in a covered position on the date on which the rules are issued who has not previously completed training described in subsection (a) shall complete such training not later than 60 days after the date on which the rules are issued; (3) in addition to complying with paragraphs (1) and (2), each individual serving in a covered position shall complete a course of training described in subsection (a) periodically, as specified by the Committee on Rules and Administration of the Senate; and (4) the head of each covered office shall submit to the Committee on Rules and Administration of the Senate-- (A) a list of each individual serving in a covered position in the covered office on the date on which the rules are issued who previously completed training described in subsection (a); (B) information regarding the completion of training described in subsection (a) after the date on which the rules are issued by an individual serving in a covered position in the covered office; and (C) notice of a failure by an individual serving in a covered position in the covered office to comply with the rules. (c) Contents of Training.--It is the sense of the Senate that, for purposes of training conducted after the date on which the rules are issued under subsection (a), the sexual harassment training described in subsection (a) should be reviewed and updated to include-- (1) information and practical guidance regarding any applicable Federal laws concerning the prohibition against and the prevention and correction of sexual harassment and the rights of victims of sexual harassment in employment; (2) practical examples aimed at instructing supervisors in the prevention of harassment, discrimination, and retaliation; (3) presentations by individuals with knowledge and expertise in the prevention of harassment, discrimination, and retaliation; (4) a discussion of the consequences for perpetrators of sexual harassment; and (5) information regarding the prohibition under the Congressional Accountability Act of 1995 (2 U.S.C. 1301 et seq.) against retaliation against witnesses to, or individuals who experience, sexual harassment and who report the harassment. (d) Consultation.--It is the sense of the Senate that the Office of Compliance and the Office of the Senate Chief Counsel for Employment should, in implementing the training described in subsection (a) and making any updates to the training in accordance with subsection (c), consult with-- (1) entities having significant expertise in identifying, preventing, and responding to sexual harassment; and (2) sexual harassment victims or sexual harassment victim advocates. SEC. 4. PERIODIC SURVEY. During each Congress, the Sergeant at Arms and Doorkeeper of the Senate shall-- (1) in consultation with the Office of Compliance, the Senate Chief Counsel for Employment, and an entity having expertise in developing surveys, conduct an anonymous survey of Members, officers, and employees of the Senate relating to the prevalence of sexual harassment in the Senate during the previous Congress, which shall include questions regarding-- (A) the experience of the respondent with sexual harassment or related inappropriate behavior in the Senate; and (B) if the respondent experienced sexual harassment or related inappropriate behavior and did not initiate the process under title IV of the Congressional Accountability Act of 1995 (2 U.S.C. 1401 et seq.), why the respondent chose not to do so; (2) submit only to the Chairman and Ranking Member of the Committee on Rules and Administration, the Chairman and Ranking Member of the Committee on the Judiciary, and the Chairman and Ranking Member of the Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs of the Senate a report on the results of the survey; and (3) take all steps necessary to preserve the anonymity of survey respondents and protect the confidentiality of any data that is collected under this section. Mr. GRASSLEY. Mr. President, allegations of sexual harassment against a growing number of people have surfaced recently. Some facing the accusations have issued public apologies, while others have maintained their innocence. But the allegations continue to mount, and as each new one surfaces, so grows my concern about whether we're doing enough to combat this problem. There are many things on which members of this chamber don't agree, but one thing on which we can and should agree is this: sexual harassment has no place in the workforce. And it certainly has no place in the halls of Congress. To signal how seriously I take this issue, I last week called on the Senate Rules Committee to impose a requirement of sexual harassment training for every employee in this chamber. Today, I'm introducing a bipartisan resolution to ensure that the Rules Committee has the authority necessary to ensure that every member of this chamber, every employee on the Senate payroll, and every unpaid Senate intern receives anti-harassment training. This is not an onerous requirement, and it's one that's long overdue. Training materials on harassment already exist, thanks to the Congressional Office of Compliance and our Office of the Senate Chief Counsel for Employment. It's already mandatory for my Judiciary Committee staff and personal office staff to take anti-harassment training. The executive branch and some private employers already have instituted similar training requirements for their employees. More than two decades ago, I sponsored the Congressional Accountability [[Page S7066]] Act as a sign of our commitment to promoting fairness in the workplace. This 1995 statute requires Congress to follow the same civil rights, labor, workplace safety, and health laws to which other employers are subject. The law also established our Office of Compliance to implement the law's dispute resolution, education, and enforcement provisions for Congress. That office not only mediates sexual harassment complaints but also has developed sexual harassment training for congressional offices. The Office of the Senate Chief Counsel for Employment also makes anti-harassment training available to Senators and staff. The resolution I'm introducing today also calls for the Sergeant at Arms to develop an anonymous survey on the prevalence of sexual harassment in the Senate. This survey, which will be conducted every two years, is to be developed in consultation with the Office of Compliance and Office of the Senate Chief Counsel for Employment. I have tremendous respect for my colleagues on both sides of the aisle. I believe each of you works hard to ensure that your offices are professional, free of harassment, and places where merit's rewarded. But I think we have to acknowledge that in our society, despite our best efforts and intentions, sexual harassment remains a serious problem. And we must work together to make sure that the Senate remains free from harassment. Some may say that policies regarding sexual harassment should be left to the discretion of each office. But I believe it's important for every Senate office to have a consistent stance on this particular issue. Every office should receive the same training so the Senate maintains a culture in which harassment is not tolerated. This is a common interest we all share. The voters who sent us here expect the best. We owe it to the American people to hold ourselves and our employees to the highest standards of conduct and professionalism. Mr. President, I want to close by thanking Senators Feinstein, Klobuchar, Ernst, and Gillibrand for working so closely with me on the development of this resolution. I urge my colleagues to embrace a common sense approach to preventing sexual harassment by supporting its passage. ____________________