Capitol Custodians Report Widespread Harassment

April 16, 2019

ISSA has been vocal about protecting workers from sexual harassment at the hands of their supervisors and clients. According to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), five industries account for more than 57 percent of all the sexual harassment claims filed. The administrative and support waste management and remediation industry is one of the five, and its members include in-house custodial staff and employees of cleaning service contractor employees.

Among the latest workers in this industry to come forward have been overnight custodial workers on Capitol Hill, The Washington Post reports. An investigation by the inspector general found 57 reported incidents of sexual harassment between 2008 and 2018, with overnight custodial workers alleging that they were direct targets of the harassment, as well as subjected to overhearing harassing conversations and seeing pornography in the officers of U.S. Congress members. The report found that an outdated culture in the Capitol created an environment in which harassment was considered acceptable and employees did not feel comfortable coming forward with complaints.

The report also revealed employees did not trust the process to report harassment and found the process overly complicated.