Ernst: “It is critical that Congress have a zero-tolerance policy”

Bipartisan Anti-Sexual Harassment Bill Passes the Senate

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Joni Ernst (R-IA), released the following statement following the Senate passage of a congressional anti-sexual harassment bill by unanimous consent:

“There is no place for sexual harassment in our schools, workplaces, military or anywhere else.  It is critical that Congress have zero-tolerance for this type of behavior.  The bipartisan anti-sexual harassment bill passed by the Senate today will ensure that members of Congress hold themselves to the same standards as the rest of the country,” said Senator Joni Ernst.


This bipartisan Congressional Accountability Act (CAA) of 1995 Reform Act will ensure that members of Congress hold themselves to the same standards as businesses and individuals across the country.  The legislation ensures that members of Congress, their staffs and all employees of the Legislative Branch are provided with the necessary training on prevention and reporting procedures to combat sexual harassment in the workplace.

Additional details on the CAA Reform Act include:

  • The Congressional Accountability Act of 1995 Reform Act would update and strengthen the procedures available to victims of harassment and discrimination and other violations of the Congressional Accountability Act of 1995.
  • The legislation holds members of the Senate and the House personally accountable by requiring them to pay for acts of harassment, intimidation or reprisal they personally commit against an employee based on any protected class including race, color, religion, sex, national origin, genetic information, age, disability or veteran’s status.
  • The CAA ensures Members who leave office will still be responsible for repayment, including garnishing non- government wages and retirement annuities to ensure full accountability.
  • The bill provides employees with immediate access to a dedicated advocate who will provide confidential consultation and assistance throughout any proceedings before the Office of Congressional Workplace Rights, including assistance with drafting of a claim.