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Congress decides to require sexual harassment training

Growing concerns about sexual harassment in the workplace in California and nationwide have reached the nation's capital. The U.S. House of Representatives and Senate have both chosen to create training policies that teach elected officials and their staff members how to prevent harassment and discrimination.

The Speaker of the House, Rep. Paul Ryan, announced that the House would create legislation that set forth policies about harassment and discrimination and established mandatory training. In the Senate, a measure to adopt anti-harassment training for everyone received unanimous approval.

These actions follow reports of female staffers experiencing harassment as well as accusations against lawmakers. One incident described by Rep. Barbara Comstock during a hearing involved a staff person quitting her job after a legislator exposed himself after asking her to deliver work to his house. Legislation introduced by a Democrat from California detailed how training would be mandatory for all members of Congress. The legislation proposed reforms in the procedures for filing complaints when elected officials or staff members are subject to attacks and harassment.

People at all levels of society sometimes find themselves within hostile work environments where managers demand sex acts or co-workers make lewd comments. An attorney could advise a person dealing with sexual harassment. Legal advice could include support when filing a complaint with an employer or regulatory agency. An attorney could also organize evidence and file a lawsuit that demands compensation for illegal acts in the workplace. Evidence could include emails, text messages, payroll records, employee evaluations and testimony from co-workers. Before bringing the case to trial, an attorney might seek a settlement from the employer, which could include monetary damages or reinstatement to a position. If an employer refuses to acknowledge responsibility, an attorney could manage the trial by participating in jury selection and presenting evidence.

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