Krueger proposes legislation to create #MeToo Pennsylvania General Assembly Act
HARRISBURG, March 25 - State Rep. Leanne Krueger held a press conference today to discuss her new legislation creating the #MeToo Pennsylvania General Assembly Act.
“The General Assembly has a duty to be a leader in the fight against sexual harassment and assault,” said Krueger, D-Delaware. “This legislation will protect members, staff and employees and hold those who harm others accountable. It is past time for sexual harassment to be taken seriously in the Capitol and for reforms to create an environment where victims feel safe enough to come forward without fear of retribution.”
The legislation, introduced as H.B. 1000 in the House and S.B. 480 in the Senate, would ban non-disclosure agreements that mask the name of members who harass staffers, prohibit General Assembly members from using taxpayer funds to pay secret settlement agreements and provide for other reforms.
Similar legislation was introduced as H.B. 1965 last session. That bill had the support of advocates who support survivors of sexual harassment and sexual assault. A hearing took place in the House Labor and Industry Committee in September 2018, where there was no opposition, but the majority committee chairman never brought the bill up for a vote.
“This legislation is an important step in preventing sexual harassment right here in Harrisburg. I am proud to lead this fight and thank my colleagues for their support,” Krueger said.
Krueger was supported by House Democratic Caucus Chair Joanna McClinton, Sen. Katie Muth and Sen. Maria Collett, sponsors of the companion bill in the state Senate.
“As a survivor and supporter of those who have had the strength to come forward through the #MeToo movement, I believe it is imperative that this legislation be put into action to correct serious issues within the process of addressing harassment claims in the General Assembly,” Muth said. “I look forward to working with my colleagues on implementing these reforms.”
“Sexual harassment is a pervasive problem in every industry,” Collett said. “The Pennsylvania legislature is sadly not immune. We need to implement and improve the procedures in which sexual assault and sexual harassment claims are addressed. This legislation allows us to do that.”
“I’m proud to support Rep. Krueger and our colleagues in the Senate to make it clear that we expect meaningful reform in the way sexual harassment allegations are handled here in the Capitol,” McClinton said. “House Bill 1000 sets forth a clear path to better protect victims.”