Members of Congress who sexually abuse employees have been largely protected from consequences, as the victims face a byzantine and burdensome process to file their complaints, including no protection from retaliatory actions from their employers. Furthermore, even when harassers are found guilty they are not personally liable for damages; instead taxpayers foot the bill (almost $200,000 since 2003).
A bipartisan group of lawmakers introduced H.R. 4924, the “Congressional Accountability Act of 1995 Reform Act." This bill makes members of Congress liable for financial damages when they are found guilty of sexual harassment, and also significantly streamlines and eases the process for victims, including protection from retaliation. This legislation is a necessary step in the right direction, bringing accountability and justice to victims.
NOTE: On February 6th, the House has passed H.R. 4924, and the bill now moves to the Senate for consideration. The bill has 38 cosponsors; 22 Republican and 16 Democratic -- none from Louisiana. The summary, text, history, and more can be viewed here.
Who To Call: Senators Kennedy and Cassidy
Senator Bill Cassidy: DC Office: 202-224-5824; Metairie office: 504-838-0130; Monroe: 318-324-2111; Lake Charles 337-493-5398; Alexandria: 318-448-7176
Senator John Kennedy: DC office: 202-224-4623; New Orleans: 504-581-6190; Lafayette: (337) 269-5980; Monroe: (318) 361-1489; Alexandria: (318) 445-2892; Baton Rouge: (225) 926-8033; Shreveport: (318) 670-5192
Hi, my name is [Your Name] and I’m an active voter from New Orleans, ZIP Code 70118 [or wherever you're from].
I’m calling today in support of H.R. 4924, the Congressional Accountability Act of 1995 Reform Act. It's time for Congress to favor the rights of sexual harassment victims over those of their abusers, and to protect accusers throughout the process to ensure that justice is served.
Thank you for your hard work answering the phones.
[IF LEAVING A VOICEMAIL: please leave your full street address to ensure your call is tallied]
This call is adapted from 5calls.org.