U.S. SENATE – U.S. Senator Steve Daines today called on the Department of Interior to continue working to expediently address sexual harassment and workplace environment issues within the Department.
During a Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee hearing on the Department of Interior budget, Daines received confirmation from Secretary Ryan Zinke that the Department of Interior has established protocols to ensure that instances of workplace harassment within Department agencies are reported and addressed.
“It is critical that processes are in place that hold perpetrators of workplace harassment accountable,” Daines stated following today’s hearing. “I appreciate Secretary Zinke’s commitment to removing bad actors at the Department of Interior and his work to ensure that the Department is a safe environment for all employees.”
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Daines is Chairman of the Senate Agriculture Subcommittee on Conservation, Forestry, and Natural Resources; and a member of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies; the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources; and the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs’ Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations, all of which combined have jurisdiction over land management agencies and harassment in the federal workforce.
On March 8, 2018, Daines announced plans for a hearing on combatting sexual harassment in the U.S. Forest Service in response to the resignation of U.S. Forest Service Chief Tony Tooke, amid sexual harassment allegations in the agency.
On March 1, 2018, during a Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee hearing, Daines urged the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) to take steps to expedite the termination process for federal employees who have engaged in harassment, including sexual harassment.
On October 13, 2017, Daines applauded steps taken by Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke to create an action plan to combat the widespread and pervasive culture of harassment and discrimination throughout the National Park Service (NPS).
On June 7, 2017, Daines addressed improving the workplace in National Parks as it relates to sexual harassment while chairing his first U.S. Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources’ Subcommittee on National Parks hearing.