For the first time in history, mandatory anti-sexual-harassment training will now be required for U.S. senators and aides, thanks to new bipartisan legislation approved unanimously on Thursday, Politico reports.
The new rules come as more lawmakers and staffers have come forward to discuss the prevalence of sexual harassment on Capitol Hill. And, at the same time, Republican nominee for Senate Roy Moore is embroiled in scandal following reports he initiated a sexual encounter with a minor.
“Sexual and workplace harassment is a widespread problem that affects too many women and men in too many places, professions, and industries,” Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), a lead sponsor on the legislation, told Politico in a statement. “Everyone deserves to feel safe and comfortable at work, and the passage of this official Senate policy is an important measure to ensure that’s the case in these halls.”
But legislators are still hoping to reform the way sexual-harassment allegations are handled on Capitol Hill, which, according to Politico, currently requires survivors to go through counseling and mediation before filing a sexual-harassment complaint. In the meantime, the House Administration Committee is scheduled to hold a hearing on sexual harassment in Congress next week.