Congressional interns required to sign nondisclosure agreements

Congressional interns required to sign nondisclosure agreements
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Many congressional interns are required to sign nondisclosure agreements (NDA) while working for Democratic and Republican lawmakers, Vox reported Monday.

The news outlet reviewed two NDAs from a Democratic House office and Democratic Senate office, respectively, and interviewed 20 current and former interns who said they signed NDAs that discouraged reporting on sexual harassment or sensitive information.

The documents are broad and do not provide exceptions for reporting sexual harassment, discrimination or abuse, lawyers told Vox. The documents in many cases continue to apply after the interns leave Capitol Hill.

The report comes as numerous federal and state lawmakers have in recent months resigned or announced their retirement following sexual misconduct allegations.

Among them are Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.), Rep. John Conyers Jr. (D-Mich.), Rep. Pat MeehanPatrick (Pat) Leo MeehanJudges refuse GOP request to block new Pa. district boundaries House Dems see chance for big gains in Pennsylvania Congressional interns required to sign nondisclosure agreements MORE (R-Pa.) and Rep. Blake Farenthold (R-Texas).

The House last month passed a sweeping overhaul of its sexual harassment policy. The current system was put in place via a 1995 law.

The legislation seeks to streamline the process available to Capitol Hill staffers to report harassment, provide additional resources for people filing complaints and establish transparency requirements for taxpayer-funded settlements to resolve cases.