Chaffetz, Female Staffers, and Avoiding the Appearance of Evil

Rep. Jason Chaffetz is among a minority of male members of Congress who, as a matter of office policy, try to avoid spending time alone with female staffers.

Reports National Journal:

Staffers whose bosses have employed these policies said that frequently the issue is much more about the perception of an older male congressman spending too much time with a young female staffer, rather than any genuine concern about the behavior of either individual.

While not explicitly banning solo meetings with women staffers, Republican Reps. Jason Chaffetz of Utah and Tim Huelskamp of Kansas said they’ve adjusted their office policies to avoid, as Chaffetz put it, “the appearance of any impropriety in any way shape or form.”

Chaffetz has instituted a “seven-to-seven” policy, not allowing any staffers of either gender to arrive in his office before 7 a.m. or leave after 7 p.m. without express permission. “You do the best you can to make sure those people are leaving at reasonable hour, make sure there [are] plenty of people around and that sort of thing,” Chaffetz said.