Washington Post: Say, Why Isn’t Congress Taking Action On #MeToo?

Catherine Rampell is in high dudgeon in a Washington Post op-ed

States are taking action on #MeToo. Why isn’t Congress?

A year ago, the #MeToo movement went viral.

First came the naming, shaming and ousting of powerful men accused of sexual misconduct. Then came awareness of the prevalence of such misconduct, and of the intricate methods — the threats, the legally enforced silence — used to keep victims from speaking out.

Then came the righteous fury.

But, to date, the expulsions and outrage have not coalesced into anything resembling a successful federal policy agenda — to, you know, keep such problems from happening again.

In fact, over the past year, Congress has done (almost) nothing to address the systemic problems that lead to workplace sexual misconduct. Federal lawmakers haven’t even managed to enact a bill that would hold their own misbehaving colleagues accountable, let alone bad actors elsewhere in the country.

Except, um, sexual harassment is already on the books as being against the rules according to federal law and has been for quite some time. Sexual assault on federal property is already on the books as being against the law. And that is pretty all Los Federales should do, because the laws themselves are best enforced at the State level.

She does have a point on it happening in Congress itself, though.

Here in California, however, where the governor just signed several laws addressing workplace sexual harassment, things look different. Also in Vermont, Michigan, New York, Tennessee, and at least six other states and three localities.

And that’s where the law should reside. Not the federal government. They aren’t there to enforce those laws.

Some have simply expanded the universe of workers covered by anti-harassment legal protections. Federal workplace anti-harassment law generally does not extend to employers with fewer than 15 employees, or to independent contractors, interns, volunteers or grad students. Five jurisdictions (four states and New York City) have plugged some of those gaps.

Four states newly bar or limit the ability of employers to force sexual harassment victims into arbitration, an often secret process whereby arbitrators are incentivized to be friendlier to the side that offers repeat business (hint: it’s not the employee). Forced arbitration clauses can also prevent multiple victims from banding together to bring a class-action suit.

The problem here is that Democrats want everything to emanate from the federal government. It’s a dangerous concept, allowing Washington to essentially control all aspects of everything.

As for protecting future victims, states are exploring new reporting requirements, such as mandating that employers report misconduct claims or settlements to a government office, to make it easier to identify patterns.

Incidentally, the Empower Act, a federal bill with bipartisan support in both the Senate and House, incorporates many of these features. Yet it languishes on Capitol Hill, a full year after the public learned how toxic the secrecy around sexual misconduct can be.

Well, it might have been nice for the government to have all the data on the toxic amounts of sexual assault within the Left leaning entertainment industry, would it not? Oh, and would it require institutions like the California General Assembly be included, as there are massive amounts of accusations against members there, too.

What is being forgotten is that so many of those federal laws protect the accused for a reason: the Bill Of Rights. Just because someone claims they are a victim of sexual assault/harassment doesn’t automatically mean the accused loses their rights, which is where the #MeToo “movement” wants to go.

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One Response to “Washington Post: Say, Why Isn’t Congress Taking Action On #MeToo?”

  1. Mangoldielocks says:

    Ellison told the Times that he wanted to clear his name but didn’t want to diminish his ex-girlfriend, despite telling the lawyer that Monahan fabricated the abuse allegations because she’s jealous of his current girlfriend.
    “The #MeToo movement is a justice movement, and I don’t ever want to be counted among those who in some way tried to dissuade victims from coming forward,” he said. “But I think the #MeToo movement has room for due process. Every social justice movement must.”

    If your a democrat all METOO women accusers are liars. IF your a supreme court justice well then of course your an evil woman hating bastage. What is funny is that the DNC hired DNC lawyers and SHAZAM they cleared ELLISON OF ALL WRONGDOING.

    A vote for a democrat is a vote for the ultimate in hypocrisy. Users and abusers of minorities and women to get power. They dont care about you. They care about your vote.

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