Rep. Pramila Jayapal, the Washington state Democrat, was accused of operating an office that is just miserable to work in even though she claims to be a fighter for working people.
BuzzFeed News ran a long-form article about Jayapal’s apparent reputation among staffers on Capitol Hill. The report had comments from 14 employees who had worked in her office over the last five years.
They described an “especially harsh office with a boss whose treatment of workers that most describe as abusive in nature. The report — which took three months to produce, pointed to at least several instances where the former employees were able to cite cases of extreme abuse in that department.
She is accused of bringing a new staffer to tears after a House Budget Committee hearing and the report, citing three sources, also said she once blamed a staffer for her personal weight gain.
The staffer was accused of not scheduling enough gym time for her, the report said.
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Lilah Pomerance, Jayapal’s chief of staff, seemed to question the premise of the article and told BuzzFeed that women of color “are often unjustly targeted, regularly held to higher standards than their male colleagues, and always put under a sexist microscope.”
The website pointed out that many of the staffers believe in Jayapal’s public message. They did not want the negative press to lessen what they see as the important policies that Jayapal, the head of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, has tried to move forward. But they wanted their stories told.