Sen. Michael Bennet signs letter to get harassment out of federal agencies

Author: Joey Bunch - February 1, 2018 - Updated: February 7, 2018

Michael BennetU.S. Sen. Michael Bennet stopped by his Colorado Springs campaign headquarters in 2010. (Photo by Kevin Kreck/Colorado Springs Gazette file photo.)

Colorado Sen. Michael Bennet is one of the 11 Senate Democrats calling on a federal agencies to ensure harassment has no place in the federal workplace.

They signed letters to Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta and Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar citing recent complaints to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission about their respective agencies.

“We write to you with deep concern regarding harassment in the workplace and to obtain information on what you are doing to address the issue within your agency,” the letter states. “As you are well aware, workplace harassment is not a new issue that workers face; it is pervasive, systemic, and unacceptable.

“Recently, many brave women and men have spoken out to shed light on sexual harassment across the country. Women, in particular, have answered the call and their voices are leading the way in demanding change and equality—often taking great risk to speak out for the first time, and their voices are making a difference. As the head of a federal agency employing thousands of people, you can play a critical role in establishing and modeling safe work environments for all workers, and we hope you will do so.”

Last week Bennet and other Democrats sent a letter to leaders of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee seeking a hearing on workplace harassment.

The Senate committee has oversight over the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the primary federal agency over enforcing laws against workplace discrimination, including harassment.

Joey Bunch

Joey Bunch

Joey Bunch is the senior political correspondent for Colorado Politics. He has a 31-year career in journalism, including the last 15 in Colorado. He was part of the Denver Post team that won the Pulitzer Prize in 2013 and is a two-time Pulitzer finalist. His resume includes covering high school sports, the environment, the casino industry and civil rights in the South, as well as a short stint at CNN.