In wake of the Harvey Weinstein sex scandal that rocked Hollywood's film industry, the topic again is in the spotlight. After Weinstein's story made headlines, online letters began to circulate alleging Sexual Harassment in the nation's capital. Scores of victims are now speaking out about the ongoing issue that's always "swept under the rug."

Widespread sexual harassment in US Senate

According to the Los Angeles Times, 300 women shared their stories or put their signature on a petition circulating the internet. They demand that the Senate enacts severe measures that would end sexual harassment in the workplace. After the backlash, the California Senate hired a Law Firm to investigate the incidents.

Female employees have alleged that a culture of rampant sexual harassment exists even in government jobs. However, while the perpetrator's names are usually kept confidential, several lobbyists continue their fight. Over the years, several sources had revealed stories about inappropriate comments, touching, and even requests of Sexual Favors.

Ex-senator paid victim $100,000

Meanwhile, the California Senate has not released information about how many formal complaints were received or actions that were taken against the offenders. The House of Assembly reported that its committee investigated 11 cases in the past five years. However, they provided no information on any of the matters. Debra Gravert, the Chief Administrative Officer, also mentioned one specific example where the accused paid his victim $100,000 to settle a sexual harassment case.

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The Los Angeles Time reported that the perpetrator in that matter was Assemblyman Steve Fox, who exposed himself to his assistant in 2014. The victim filed a lawsuit after he terminated her employment, and a settlement was reached by both parties.

Lobbyists are asking for a transparent system that would address sexual harassment. However, several women said they do not expect any resolution as their complaints were never investigated. Also, many stated that they are afraid to report the issue because they fear retaliation.

In the wake of the scandal, Senate President Pro Tem Kevin de Leon hired the law offices of Amy Oppenheimer to carry out an investigation. The law firm specializes in workplace harassment and discrimination at government facilities. Additionally, the firm spokesperson revealed that staff members from the past five years would be interviewed.