I On Politics
MALONEY CONTINUES TO FIGHT SEXUAL HARASSMENT
Congress Member Carolyn B. Maloney (D-NY) reintroduced two pieces of legislation to combat sexual harassment in the workplace on March 18th: the Ending Secrecy About Workplace Sexual Harassment Act and the No Tax Deductions for Sexual Harasser Buyouts Act.
The two bills, first introduced in December 2017, are designed to end the corporate culture of secrecy surrounding sexual harassment settlements and to no longer allow companies to treat Bill O’Reilly-like severances as an ordinary cost of doing business. As a result, companies will have stronger incentives to prevent sex discrimination, including verbal and physical sexual harassment, from happening in the first place, Rep. Maloney explained. “Sexual harassment should no longer be an issue that is whispered about behind closed doors. Thanks to the inspiring voices of the #MeToo and Time’s Up movements, we have an opportunity to shine a brighter spotlight on the issue and create permanent incentives for employers to foster safe work environments, not cover up harassment after it happens. And we must put an end to rewarding companies with tax deductions for huge buyouts to perpetrators of harassment. These bills are important steps toward helping make sure employers do the right thing and protect workers from sexual harassment – in the workplace, at universities, in Congress – and everywhere in between.”
The Ending Secrecy About Workplace Sexual Harassment Act requires companies to include in their annual EEO-1 form to the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission the number of settlements with employees regarding claims of discrimination on the basis of sex, including sexual harassment and sexual assault. Additional provisions prohibit retaliation against any employee who reports any violation of the requirement; require an annual report to Congress from EEOC on the sexual harassment data it has collected both directly from individuals and through the expanded EEO-1, and the enforcement actions EEOC has taken in response to the complaints received; and the commission of a Government Accountability Office study with recommendations on improving transparency about sexual harassment in the workplace.
The No Tax Deductions for Sexual Harasser Buyouts Act creates a tax deductibility exemption for buyouts paid by companies to sexual harassers.
MALONEY HAILS HOUSE PASSAGE OF PAYCHECK FAIRNESS ACT
Congress Member Carolyn B. Maloney (D-NY), vice chair of the Joint Economic Committee, hailed the House passage of HR.7, the Paycheck Fairness Act.
“Passing the Paycheck Fairness Act is critical to the financial security of women and families – and will be a boost for the economy as a whole. Women are the sole or primary breadwinners in half of US households with children. According to some estimates, equal pay could cut poverty among working women and their families by more than half,” Rep. Maloney noted, adding that it would add more than $500 billion to the US economy. “This legislation is long overdue, and I proudly voted for it. To support hardworking American women, to help families, and to boost our economy, the Senate needs to take up and pass HR.7 quickly and send it to the president’s desk.”
RESOLUTION CALLING FOR RETURN PARTHENON MARBLES TO GREECE
On March 26th, just after Greek Independence Day, co-Chairs of the Congressional Caucus on Hellenic Issues Carolyn B. Maloney (NY-12) and Gus Bilirakis (FL-12), and Congress Member Donald Payne, Jr. (NJ-10) reintroduced a resolution calling on Great Britain to return the Parthenon Marbles to Greece.
The marbles were removed from Greece 200 years ago by Thomas Bruce, seventh Earl of Elgin and transported to Great Britain. The marbles were part of a frieze that wrapped around the Temple of Athena. In 1816, the British Parliament voted to purchase the marbles and they now reside in the British Museum. Despite years of efforts by the Greek government to retain the marbles, it has been unable to negotiate an agreement with its British counterparts to return the marbles to Greece.
“The Parthenon Marbles belong in Greece, with the Greek people,” said Rep. Maloney. “The marbles are some the country’s greatest examples of artistic expression and beauty and are vital pieces of Greek history. The people of Greece and those who visit from all around the world to see the magnificence of the Acropolis should be able to enjoy the marbles in their rightful home. This resolution calls upon Great Britain to finally return these treasures.”
“Art provides a window into history and is the ultimate freedom of expression,” said Rep. Bilirakis. “The Parthenon Marbles were made by the citizens of Athens under the direction of renowned artist Phidias to celebrate the pride and majesty of the city of Athens. To not house and view these citizen contributions in the city they were originally intended for does a disservice not only to the people of Athens, but also to the civilization that paved the path for modern democracy and freedom.”
“The Parthenon Marbles tell a story of celebration for Ancient Greece, and the marbles are important to Greek culture,” said Rep. Payne, Jr. “To best serve history and to ensure the world can enjoy ancient history in its proper context, the Parthenon Marbles should be returned to Greece.”