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Capitol Hill Staff Are Exposing Their Unequal Pay & Toxic Workplace Culture On An Anonymous Instagram Account

Photo: M Jessica W / Shutterstock.com
Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C.

A new Instagram account taking hints at the format of popular celebrity gossip and culture page, Deuxmoi, is taking anonymous stories from BIPOC (Black and indigenous people of color) who work at Capitol Hill and are mistreated severely.

The account goes by the username, @dear_white_staffers, and has over 21k followers and has been getting a lot of attention because of how awful some of the people’s experiences are.

What is 'Dear White Staffers' on Instagram?

The "Dear White Staffers" Instagram is soliciting and sharing anonymous claims from alleged Capitol Hill staffers who appear to be exposing the unequal pay and toxic work conditions inside of the Capitol.

The common consensus seems to be that working at the Capitol means you’re in for: unequal pay, a quick burnout, and mistreatment by those who have higher positions than you.

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Capitol Hill staff are severely underpaid, according to anonymous submissions.

According to the posts on the Instagram account, junior staff can start anywhere from a salary in the mid-20-thousand to 35 thousand dollars in one of the most expensive places to live in America.

Many of those submitting into the account say they are forced to apply for affordable housing programs to keep up with D.C. rents. 

“I lived in Section 8 housing all three years of working on the Hill for the same member,” said one anonymous post. “Had packages stolen weekly, car broken into countless times, and was violently mugged outside my apartment building.”

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They worked as a driver and had terrible hours (9 a.m. to 10-11 p.m.) and only got approval to drive until 8 p.m. after their assault.

Another person wrote, “[For what it’s worth] I still don’t have a comfortable amount of money leftover at the end of the month to avoid going into my savings accounts to cover the cost, let alone put anything substantial into savings.”

Whenever these problems are discussed with their bosses, they typically react without care or like this is the way it has always been — something this account wants to try and change.

Working under the premise of a global pandemic is hard, and that stress weighs even heavier on those who work in the government, meaning that those in the Capitol will get hit extra hard — not to mention the rampant racism and mistreatment.

Capitol Hill workers are allegedly being warned about 'Dear White Staffers.'

"Dear White Staffers" allows workers to vent their frustrations in a public manner and raise awareness without raising too much awareness to themselves and risk losing their jobs or credibility in the field.

However, according to submissions, senior Hill staff are trying to prevent the account from gaining momentum by discouraging them from following or engaging with the account.

And one look at the submission makes it clear why.

Capitol Hill's gruelling working conditions have been revealed by 'Dear White Staffers.'

"I lasted less than a year because I was so stressed that I developed ulcers, my hair fell out, and I broke out into hives," one submitter wrote of her experience working for an unnamed and "emotionally abusive" member of Congress. 

They’re hoping that this raising in awareness will empower workers to form a union and that the bad press will make those employers in the Capitol change the working conditions of their employees.

While the people who submit remain anonymous, a lot of the posts call out specific politicians’ offices and the account has started its own “Rate Your Professor” system called “Vibe Check.”

The account will ask for specific accounts of experiences from a politician’s office and put them in a highlight reel on the main page.

When Business Insider asked the creators of the account for an interview, they acknowledged the request, but politely declined to ensure their own safety and the safety of the account.

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Isaac Serna-Diez is a writer who focuses on entertainment and news, social justice, and politics. Follow him on Twitter here.

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