05.09.18

Daines Leads Charge against Harassment within Bureau of Indian Affairs

Daines Secures Interior Nominees’ Commitment to Maintain Harassment-Free Workplace 

U.S. SENATE — Today, during a hearing in the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs, U.S. Senator Steve Daines, Chairman of the Energy and Natural Resources Subcommittee on National Parks, secured Interior Department nominee for Assistant Secretary for Indian Affairs Tara Mac Lean Sweeney’s commitment to maintain a harassment-free workplace at the Department.

During the hearing, Daines highlighted that the BIA reports the highest rate of harassment of any agency within the Interior Department. Ms. Sweeney assured Daines she would maintain a zero-tolerance policy for harassment of any kind.

Indian Affairs

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“It’s not talked about enough that the Bureau of Indian Affairs actually suffers from highest rate of harassment of any agency within the Department of the Interior,” said Daines. “It’s going to take the leadership of the entire Department and staff like you to make the effort to combat harassment effective.”

“I have a zero-tolerance policy for sexual harassment,” said Ms. Sweeney.

Background:

On March 13, 2018, Daines called on the Department of Interior to continue working to expediently address sexual harassment and workplace environment issues within the Department.

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.     

 

 

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