Report: Center for American Progress Struggled to Address Sexual-Harassment Claims

The Center for American Progress, a bastion of Democratic policy that has often written about sexual harassment in the workplace, struggled to properly prevent and respond to sexual-harassment allegations within its offices, according to documents obtained by BuzzFeed News. The organization’s employee union drafted a memo for CAP President Neera Tanden, outlining concerns that included the group’s insufficient “employment action” against those accused of sexual assault, its failure to establish a “safe space,” and failure to inform employees how to properly report sexual harassment. A junior staffer, who was sent lewd text messages by another staffer, felt that she faced “retaliation” after she reported the incident to HR, according to the report. She then quit, writing in her exit memo that she “surely expected better out of an organization that housed a national campaign on sexual assault.” CAP claims only some portions of the memo were mentioned by the union in a meeting with Tanden, and says the organization appropriately investigated the allegations against the employee. The same day the complaint against him was made, CAP “told him not to return to the office, and not to retaliate against, or even contact, the complainant. He was escorted from the building that afternoon and never returned,” the organization said in a statement.