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“We must lead by example in our own offices by instituting mandatory sexual harassment prevention and response training now,” Southfield Democratic Congresswoman Brenda Lawrence said in a November 3 letter to members of the U.S. House of Representatives, urging them to adopt mandatory sexual harassment training for their offices. Four days later, three women who worked as former aides to Lawrence told POLITICO the congresswoman kept her chief of staff, Dwayne Duron Marshall, on her payroll despite receiving multiple complaints from the women about alleged inappropriate comments and physical contact toward them. Lawrence, who subsequently put Marshall on leave pending an investigation, told the website she had no knowledge of any sexual harassment in her office, despite claims by the women that they had made it clear they didn’t feel comfortable around the former chief of staff. Lawrence is a former sexual harassment complaint investigator for the federal government. On Thursday, November 16, Lawrence said in statement that she accepted Marshall’s resignation and will move forward with an investigation focused on the current and future climate of the workplace environment. “Validating an environment of zero tolerance for harassment of any kind is a high priority of mine,” she said.


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