Katz Banks Kumin partner Alexis Ronickher was interviewed by Fox correspondent Mike Emanuel on the recent allegations of sexual harassment made against Representative John Conyers. Ms. Ronickher discusses Congress’ process of handling harassment claims and the burden placed on accusers.
Representative John Conyers has been accused of sexual harassment by three former staffers, including one who has spoken on the record about her experiences. Many, including some of Conyers’ colleagues in Congress and the Detroit Free Press have called on the representative to resign. The Ethics Committee is expected to launch an investigation into the accusations.
Conyers’ alleged victims had tried to go public for years, but were kept quiet and powerless by complex rules and procedures designed to keep the institution and its members safe from repercussions.
“It’s different than under private or other federal processes, so Congress has a special system they put in place for themselves,” explains Ms. Ronickher.
The process that Ms. Ronickher is referring to is the long and winding administrative route that victims hoping to bring a claim must follow, all the while staying quiet at the risk of legal backlash.