OOC BROWN BAG LUNCH SERIES
HOSTILE WORK ENVIRONMENT
APRIL 19, 2017
The Congressional Accountability Act of 1995 (“CAA”), 2 U.S.C. §§ 1301 et seq., extends the protection of several anti-discrimination statutes to legislative branch employees, and also prohibits retaliation for protected activity. Many of the covered employees who participate in counseling and mediation at the Office of Compliance allege that they are subject to a discriminatory or retaliatory hostile work environment (“HWE”). In contrast to disparate treatment claims, in which discrete adverse employment actions taken against the employee are alleged to have been motivated by unlawful discrimination, HWE claims rest on a theory that the employee suffers from harassment because of his or her membership in a protected class, and
that the harassment is so severe or pervasive as to alter the conditions of employment.