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Mandatory Harassment Training Bill Passes House

In the ongoing wake of sexual misconduct allegations against members of Congress--Rep. John Conyers (D-Mich.) and Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.)--and revelations about past payments to settle various complaints, the House Wednesday (Nov. 29) passed legislation to school the Hill.

H Res. 630, which passed by voice vote, mandates anti-harassment training for staffers and members.

“I don’t care if you’re a Member of Congress, a Supreme Court Justice or the President of the United States – we should have a zero tolerance policy for sexual harassment in our government – just as we should in every aspect of society,” said Rep. Suzan DelBene (D-Wash.) “There should absolutely be mandatory anti-harassment training in Congress and I think this is important for all organizations.”

DelBene also signaled she plans to introduce a bill, the Stop Tax Breaks for Sexual Misconduct Act, which would no longer allow corporations to deduct "settlements paid to victims of sexual misconduct, insurance premiums for sexual misconduct policies and associated attorney’s fees as a 'ordinary and necessary expenses.'"

On the victim side of the equation, the bill would also exclude from taxes any damages or settlements in a case of sexual misconduct.