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S 859

112th CONGRESS
1st Session

S. 859

To prohibit sexual harassment by individuals administering programs and activities receiving Federal assistance.

IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES

April 14, 2011

Mr. CASEY introduced the following bill; which was read twice and referred to the Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions


A BILL

To prohibit sexual harassment by individuals administering programs and activities receiving Federal assistance.

    Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

    This Act may be cited as the `Public Agency Accountability for Sexual Harassment Act'.

SEC. 2. DEFINITIONS.

    In this Act:

      (1) ANY 1-YEAR PERIOD- The term `any 1-year period'--

        (A) means a continuous period that commences not earlier than 12 months before the commission of an offense or that ends not later than 12 months after the commission of the offense; and

        (B) may include time both before and after the commission of the offense.

      (2) AGENT- The term `agent' means a person authorized to act on behalf of another person or a government and, in the case of an organization or government, includes a servant or employee, and a partner, director, officer, manager, and representative.

      (3) GOVERNMENT AGENCY- The term `government agency' means a subdivision of the executive, legislative, or judicial branch, or another branch, of government, including a department, independent establishment, commission, administration, authority, board, and bureau, and a corporation or other legal entity established, and subject to control, by a government for the execution of a governmental or intergovernmental program or activity.

      (4) LOCAL- The term `local' means of or pertaining to a political subdivision within a State.

      (5) PROGRAM OR ACTIVITY- The term `program or activity' means all of the operations of--

        (A)(i) a department, agency, special purpose district, or other instrumentality of a State or of a local government; or

        (ii) the entity of such State or local government that distributes such assistance and each such department or agency (and each other State or local government entity) to which the assistance is extended, in the case of assistance to a State or local government;

        (B)(i) an entire corporation, partnership, or other private organization, or an entire sole proprietorship--

          (I) if assistance is extended to such corporation, partnership, private organization, or sole proprietorship as a whole; or

          (II) which is principally engaged in the business of providing health care, housing, social services, or parks and recreation; or

        (ii) the entire plant or other comparable, geographically separate facility to which Federal financial assistance is extended, in the case of any other corporation, partnership, private organization, or sole proprietorship; or

        (C) any other entity which is established by 2 or more of the entities described in subparagraph (A) or (B),

      any part of which is extended Federal financial assistance.

      (6) STATE- The term `State' includes a State of the United States, the District of Columbia, and any commonwealth, territory, or possession of the United States.

SEC. 3. SEXUAL HARASSMENT BY INDIVIDUALS ADMINISTERING PROGRAMS AND ACTIVITIES RECEIVING FEDERAL FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE.

    (a) In General- An individual who is an agent of an organization or government covered by subsection (b) and who administers a program or activity, shall not commit sexual harassment, as defined under title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (42 U.S.C. 2000e et seq.).

    (b) Circumstance- An organization or government described in this subsection is an organization, or a State or local government, including any government agency thereof, that receives, in any 1-year period, benefits in excess of $5,000 from a program or activity.

    (c) Organization Duties- An organization or a government covered by subsection (b) shall terminate the agency relationship with an agent described in subsection (a) who engages in sexual harassment prohibited by such subsection.

    (d) Disclosure- Any organization or government covered by subsection (b) that enters into any settlement resulting from sexual harassment prohibited under subsection (a) by an agent administering a program or activity, shall disclose the settlement, and any fines, penalties, damages, insurance premium increases, and other settlements resulting from sexual harassment by such agent, to--

      (1) any Federal department or agency with whom the organization has an agreement for disbursing Federal financial assistance; and

      (2) the Members of Congress representing each State in which the agent administers the program or activity.

SEC. 4. ENFORCEMENT.

    (a) In General- Each Federal department and agency that is empowered to extend Federal financial assistance to any program or activity, by way of grant, contract, subsidy, loan, guarantee, insurance, or other form of Federal assistance, is authorized and directed to effectuate the provisions of subsections (a) and (c) of section 3 with respect to such program or activity by issuing rules, regulations, or orders of general applicability which shall be consistent with achievement of the objectives of the statute authorizing the financial assistance in connection with which the action is taken. No such rule, regulation, or order shall become effective unless and until approved by the President.

    (b) Compliance-

      (1) VIOLATION BY AGENT- In order to effect compliance with any requirement adopted pursuant to this section, an agent who violates section 3(a) shall be liable to the Federal Government for a civil fine, notwithstanding any other provision of law.

      (2) VIOLATION BY ORGANIZATION OR GOVERNMENT-

        (A) CIVIL FINE- In order to effect compliance with any requirement adopted pursuant to this section, an organization or government that violates section 3(c) shall be liable to the Federal Government for a civil fine.

        (B) TERMINATION OF PARTICIPATION- In the case of a violation of section 3(c) by an organization or government, the department or agency extending Federal financial assistance to the organization or government shall effect compliance by terminating, or refusing to grant or continue, assistance for such program or activity to any recipient as to whom there has been an express finding on the record, after opportunity for hearing, of a failure to comply with such requirement, but such termination or refusal shall be limited to the particular political entity, or part thereof, or other recipient as to whom such a finding has been made and, shall be limited in its effect to the particular program or activity, or part thereof, in which such noncompliance has been so found.

      (3) OTHER MEANS- In addition to the actions described in paragraphs (1) and (2), compliance with any requirement adopted pursuant to this section shall be effected by any other means authorized by law.

    (c) Process- No action under subsection (b) shall be taken until the department or agency concerned has advised the appropriate person or persons of the failure to comply with the requirement and has determined that compliance cannot be secured by voluntary means. In the case of any action terminating, or refusing to grant or continue, assistance because of failure to comply with a requirement imposed pursuant to this section, the head of the Federal department or agency shall file with the committees of the House of Representatives and the Senate having legislative jurisdiction over the program or activity involved a full written report of the circumstances and the grounds for such action. No such action shall become effective until thirty days have elapsed after the filing of such report.

SEC. 5. STATE IMMUNITY.

    (a) State Immunity- A State shall not be immune under the 11th Amendment to the Constitution from suit in Federal court for a violation of this Act.

    (b) Waiver- A State's receipt or use of Federal financial assistance for any program or activity of a State shall constitute a waiver of sovereign immunity, under the 11th Amendment or otherwise, to any suit brought for a violation of subsection (a) or (c) of section 3.

SEC. 6. RULES OF CONSTRUCTION.

    (a) No Effect on Rights and Remedies for Sexual Harassment- Nothing in this Act affects any right, obligation, or liability under title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (42 U.S.C. 2000e et seq.) or other law, in a case involving sexual harassment.

    (b) No Duplication of Title IX- Nothing in this Act (except for subsection (a)) shall be construed to apply to an organization or government described in section 3(b), including an agent of such an organization or government, if the organization or government is a recipient of Federal financial assistance from a program or activity covered by title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972.

END