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November 17 2017

We Don't Even Know Whose Harassment Settlements We Paid

by Charlotte Hays

I've been shelling out a lot of hush money to people with all too credible accusations against our employees. You have, too.

The Hill's Reid Wilson has just released via Twitter the chart of the Congressional Office of Compliance's breakdown of year-by-year settlements and awards for harassment claims for Congress. It's a doozy.

Here is what the taxpayer paid for sexual harassment accusations in the last few years:

2017 (which isn't even over yet): $934, 754 (eight settlements)

2016: $588, 094 (fifteen settlements)

2015: $482, 797 (thirteen settlements)

2014: $806, 450 (eleven settlements)

You can see the settlements and awards going back to 1997. That year, we paid $39, 429 for six complaints. The peak years were 2002--$3,974,077 for ten complaints--and 2007--$4,053, 274 for twenty-five complaints.

I have some questions: Who decided that the taxpayer rather than the person involved would pick up the cost for harassment? Who decided that this settlements would be kept secret? Why when elected officials get accused of harassment, why don't they pay their own settlements? Is a secret harassment settlement a perk of being a member of Congress?

We have a Congress that is accorded privileges that are not in harmony with a small-r republican form of government. A harassment pay off is a pretty astonishing part of a benefits package. But that's not all. These people make laws for us and then don't live by them themselves--remember, President Barack Obama even exempted our cherished representives from living under the ObamaCare law they passed.

I guess I have one more question: What the hell  went on in 2002 and 2007?

I'm serious. We taxpayers paid the billsand thus we deserve to know. We need the names.  

We are working hard and paying our taxes and by these very acts being made to be the unwilling financial enablers of harassers.    

Independent Women’s Forum’s mission is to improve the lives of Americans by increasing the number of women who value free markets and personal liberty. Sister organization of Independent Women’s Voice.
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