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Update on Reforming the Congressional Accountability Act

Provided by Congresswoman Barbara Comstock’s Office

Committee on House Administration Chairman Gregg Harper (MS-3), Ranking Member Robert Brady (PA-1), Representative Barbara Comstock (VA-10), Representative Jackie Speier (CA-14), and Representative Bradley Byrne (AL-1) issued the following statement on the progress reforming the Congressional Accountability Act of 1995:

“Our bipartisan group of Members is making significant progress on reforming the Congressional Accountability Act, the 20-year-old law that establishes employment and workplace rights and protections for the Legislative Branch. This reform bill will make a number of necessary changes to bring about more transparency, accountability, stronger protections for employees, and a simplified, clear, and respectful process for individuals to report claims and reach a resolution. Ultimately, these reforms will bring the improved protections for individuals and accountability in the workplace.

“While we are very close to finalizing these reforms, we will introduce legislation when Congress reconvenes in January. The Committee on House Administration will hold a markup as soon as Congress returns and will report the bill to the full House. Our position from the beginning of this review and reform process has been: One case of sexual harassment is one case too many. We need to get these reforms right and ensure we are paving a path forward for a safer and productive congressional workplace.”

Background:

Principles of the bipartisan legislation reforming the Congressional Accountability Act include:

  • Clearer and fairer reporting and dispute resolution process for employees.
  • Protections for employees who file claims under the Congressional Accountability Act.
  • Increased transparency with respect to payment of awards and settlements, while protecting the victim’s identity.
  • Members will be personally accountable when settling claims of sexual harassment.
  • New requirements for reporting cases, activities, and other reforms for the Office of Compliance’s operations.

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