Why some male members of Congress refuse to be alone with female staffers

Why some male members of Congress refuse to be alone with female staffers
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It’s no secret that Congress is dominated by men, but as women work to make inroads in the congressional boys club, some female staffers face a huge impediment to moving up: They’re not allowed to spend one-on-one time with their male bosses.

In an anonymous survey of female staffers conducted by National Journal in order to gather information on the difficulties they face in a male-dominated industry, several female aides reported that they have been barred from staffing their male bosses at evening events, driving alone with their congressman or senator, or even sitting down one-on-one in his office for fear that others would get the wrong impression.

Follow-up interviews with other Hill aides make clear that these policies, while not prevalent, exist in multiple offices—and they may well run afoul of employment discrimination laws, experts say. Because of the sensitivity of the issue, and the fear of retribution, many of these women and some of their male counterparts spoke with National Journal on the condition of anonymity and declined to publicly name their bosses.

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