D.C. Delegate Wants a National Commission on Sexual Harassment

WASHINGTON -- D.C.'s delegate to Congress wants to create a national commission tasked with studying sexual harassment and finding ways to combat it in workplaces across the country.

Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-D.C.) will be introducing legislation, her office said, to create the commission that would report back to Congress on "recommended changes in law or regulations and best practices for preventing, training, investigating, responding to and punishing sexual harassment in the private and public sectors."

Norton's bill comes amid bipartisan legislation to reform the way that sexual harassment accusers are treated on Capitol Hill, including doing away with mandatory mediation and nondisclosure agreements and stopping the practice of paying settlements with taxpayer funds.

In a statement Tuesday, Norton such a commission would be modeled on national commissions established by Congress to go after problems such as weapons of mass destruction and gambling.

“Congress has begun to confront sexual harassment here in Congress, but only Congress, which represents every sector, can truly take on the national problem of sexual harassment, which we now know has infected every major sector of the American workplace,” Norton said. “If 2017 was the year of the ‘silence breakers,’ we must make 2018 the year of heeding their call for action."