Twenty-two Democratic senators sent a letter to the top federal labor officials on Monday demanding their department collect more and better data concerning sexual harassment in the United States workforce.
The letter was signed by Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand and cosigned by Sens. Elizabeth Warren, Kamala D. Harris, Cory Booker, and Bernie Sanders among others. No Republican senator cosigned it. It was addressed to Secretary of Labor Alexander Acosta and Bureau of Labor Statistics Acting Commissioner William J. Wiatrowski.
The senators are requesting the Labor Department collect data on the “prevalence and cost of sexual harassment,” the letter read.
In particular, the senators want the department to do a study on the economic impact of sexual harassment on the labor force broadly and on workers themselves on a national level.
Gillibrand and her cosigners want the analysis to include the impact sexual harassment may have on labor force participation rates and economic losses suffered by those who experience sexual harassment, like lost incomes or lost retirement savings.
The senator and her cosigners wrote the letter after reading a BuzzFeed News story examining the prevalence of sexual harassment in different industries, a spokesperson for Gillibrand said. The BuzzFeed News article was based on previously unpublished data of sexual harassment charges filed with the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and can be downloaded here.
“In recent weeks and months, the #MeToo movement has brought to light the experiences of countless workers who have endured sexual harassment for far too long,” the letter reads.
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