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Proposed law could require lawmakers to pay for sexual harassment

If someone were to tell you that United States taxpayers have paid for hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of sexual harassment settlements, the idea would seem ridiculous. The fact is, it's true.

The current law allows for U.S. federal tax dollars to cover the sexual harassment settlements relating to the sexual misconduct of U.S. congresspersons and senators. However, a newly proposed piece of legislation could change this. The new law would require the lawmakers themselves to pay for sexual harassment settlements out of their own pocketbooks.

The newly-introduced bipartisan legislation has been created in the wake of numerous allegations of sexual assault and sexual harassment against high-profile politicians in the Senate and House of Representatives. The countless allegations of assault and sexual harassment have resulted in six members of Congress taking early retirement and resigning from their posts. Among those who have exited their political seats of power are Sen. Al Franken and Rep. John Conyers, both of whom were taken out by the #MeToo movement, which encouraged women from all walks of life to call out their harassers and abusers.

If successful, the new legislation will require congressional lawmakers to use their own money to settle with their accusers rather than tax dollars. The updated legislation will also permit accusers to submit sexual harassment complaints without the need to execute a nondisclosure agreement.

There is no excuse for sexual harassment in any area of life, be it friendship, professional or even at a bar or on the dance floor. If you have been the victim of on-the-job sexual harassment, you too can join in the #MeToo movement. Make your voice heard, learn about your legal rights and help prevent others from being victimized by this unconscionable, deplorable and inhumane treatment in the future.

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