Senate bill overhauls handling of sex harassment complaints

May 23, 2018 - 9:30 am

WASHINGTON (AP) — Senate negotiators have released a bipartisan bill to overhaul the system for handling sexual harassment complaints on Capitol Hill.

The bill eliminates mandatory counseling, mediation and the 30-day "cooling off" period victims are currently required to wait before filing a complaint or requesting a hearing. It also requires members of Congress to repay the Treasury for harassment and discrimination settlements. More than $300,000 in taxpayer funds has been paid over the past 15 years to settle such claims.

Democratic Sen. Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota and Republican Sen. Roy Blunt of Missouri announced the bill Wednesday, months after the House unanimously passed its own version of the anti-harassment legislation.

Republican Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer say they expect the bill "to pass the Senate in short order."

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