This Note explores how the Congressional Accountability Act of 1995 ("CAA") contributed to the underreporting of the sexual harassment occurring in Congress and evaluates both the original proposals offered by the House and Senate to reform the CAA and the Reform Act in its final form. Part I will offer brief background information on the ‘me too’ Movement and the specific allegations of harassment against individuals in Congress. Part II will explore the issue of underreporting when it comes to instances of sexual harassment, with a particular focus on reporting considerations of professional women such as those employed in the legislature. Part III gives an overview of Title VII, the basic framework for making a formal complaint for sexual harassment or discrimination that occurs in the employment setting. Part III then largely focuses on the CAA and how it modified the procedure required to bring claims of sexual harassment or discrimination occurring within the congressional context. Part IV is broken into three Sections. Section IV.A describes the major components of the initial House and Senate reform bills and how they compare to one another and to the Reform Act. Section IV.B covers the major components of the Reform Act. Section IV.C then explores the ways in which the Reform Act falls short of what victims of sexual harassment on Capitol Hill deserve and fails to meet Congress’s promise to hold itself to a higher standard.
Christina C. Hopke,
Is Congress Holding Itself to Account? Addressing Congress's Sexual Harassment Problem and the Congressional Accountability Act of 1995 Reform Act,
Notre Dame L. Rev.
Available at: https://scholarship.law.nd.edu/ndlr/vol94/iss5/11