BROKEN PROCESS IN CONGRESS FOR HARASSMENT CLAIMS
November 29, 2017
Ask God to use the revelations about sexual misconduct accusations, and the cover-ups in Congress, to bring His ways to our government. Pray for truth, accountability, and justice to prevail.
From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked. (Lk 12:48)
“The sexual misconduct accusations against Rep. John Conyers, D-Mich., this week revealed a broken system on Capitol Hill that neglects victims and keeps taxpayers in the dark.
BuzzFeed News reported this week that a woman threatened to press charges against Conyers for wrongful termination after she refused his sexual advances. According to documents BuzzFeed obtained, the woman went to the U.S. Congress Office of Compliance, the closest thing Congress has to a human resources department, but never completed the complaint process. Conyers’ office then offered her a settlement of $27,111.75 from its own budget. The office rehired her as a temporary employee but directed her not to come into the office or do any work. She received the money over the course of three months and then the office removed her from the payroll.
Because of the obscure process, leaders in Congress didn’t even know the woman filed a complaint or that there was a settlement. . . .
As more stories of sexual harassment on Capitol Hill become public, the Office of Compliance has released documents showing settlement payments for employment abuse claims of $17.2 million over the last 20 years. The details of those settlements are confidential. Staff members who would like to file a complaint often don’t understand the arcane process, and those who do are often required to sign nondisclosure agreements. . . .
Conyers, 88, is the longest-serving member of Congress and holds a top post on the House Judiciary Committee. His Democratic colleagues said they welcomed a House Ethics Committee review, but investigating Conyers won’t change the system. Congress needs to figure out how to protect its employees and ensure taxpayer money is not used to cover up abuse.” (Excerpted from World Magazine, reporting by Evan Wilt.)