Maloney Reintroduces Bills to Fight Workplace Sexual Harassment

Mar 18, 2019
Press Release

WASHINGTON, DC – Congresswoman Carolyn B. Maloney (D-NY), today reintroduced two pieces of legislation to combat sexual harassment in the workplace; the Ending Secrecy About Workplace Sexual Harassment Act and the No Tax Deductions for Sexual Harasser Buyouts Act.

The two bills, first introduced in December 2017, are designed to end the corporate culture of secrecy surrounding sexual harassment settlements and to no longer allow companies to treat Bill O’Reilly-like severances as an ordinary cost of doing business. As a result, companies will have stronger incentives to prevent sex discrimination, including verbal and physical sexual harassment, from happening in the first place.

“Sexual harassment should no longer be an issue that is whispered about behind closed doors. Thanks to the inspiring voices of the #MeToo and Time’s Up movements, we have an opportunity to shine a brighter spotlight on the issue and create permanent incentive for employers to foster safe work environments, not cover up harassment after it happens,” said Rep. Maloney. “And we must put an end to rewarding companies with tax deductions for huge buyouts to perpetrators of harassment. These bills are important steps toward helping make sure employers do the right thing and protect workers from sexual harassment - in the workplace, at universities, in Congress – and everywhere in between.”

Background

The Ending Secrecy About Workplace Sexual Harassment Act requires companies to include in their annual EEO-1 form to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission the number of settlements with employees regarding claims of discrimination on the basis of sex, including sexual harassment and sexual assault. Additional provisions prohibit retaliation against any employee who report any violation of the requirement; require an annual report to Congress from EEOC on the sexual harassment data it has collected both directly from individuals and through the expanded EEO-1, and the enforcement actions EEOC has taken in response to the complaints received; and the commission of a Government Accountability Office study with recommendations on improving transparency about sexual harassment in the workplace. 

The No Tax Deductions for Sexual Harasser Buyouts Act creates a tax deductibility exemption for buyouts paid by companies to sexual harassers.

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