Rep. Marino Introduces Legislation Requiring Repayment of Taxpayer Dollars Used in Sexual Harassment Settlements by Members of Congres
Washington, D.C.—Yesterday, Congressman Tom Marino (PA-10), introduced H.R. 4540, legislation requiring the repayment of taxpayer dollars used in sexual harassment settlements against a Member of Congress, including interest. The bill would also:
- Require the Office of Compliance (OOC) to publish a report listing all past and future awards and settlements against a Member of Congress relating to sexual harassment, including the identity of the Congressman or Senator while protecting the identity of the victim.
- Prohibit the requirement of a nondisclosure agreement in order to reach a settlement.
- Release prior victims of sexual assault from nondisclosure agreements, allowing them to publicly share their story if they choose.
This legislation is a companion bill to H.R. 4458, introduced last week by Congressman Marino prohibiting the use of taxpayer funds in sexual harassment settlements against a Member of Congress.
Congressman Marino said the following regarding the introduction of the bill:
“Congressmen and Senators should not be allowed to play by a different set of rules and held to a different set of standards than the American public. Sexual Harassment in the workplace is unacceptable by anyone and taxpayers should not be on the hook for the actions of others.
My legislation will bring transparency and accountability to the secretive process used when a victim settles a sexual harassment claim against a Member of Congress. By listing publicly past and future settlements, along with the identity of the Member of Congress who committed the act of sexual harassment, the American people can see and judge for themselves.
My bill also protects the victim’s identity while releasing them from any nondisclosure agreement signed along with a settlement, allowing them to come forward if they choose. Going forward, nondisclosure agreements are prohibited as a requirement of receiving a settlement. This legislation, along with H.R. 4458, will bring much-needed transparency and taxpayer accountability to a broken process.”