Taxpayers Foot $342,225.85 for Sexual Harassment, Discrimination Settlements Between 2008 and 2012

WASHINGTON, DC - OCTOBER 26: U.S. Rep. John Conyers (D-MI) participates in a news conference at the U.S. Capitol October 26, 2011 in Washington, DC. Conyers called on the Joint Deficit Reduction Committee to preserve Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security benefits when making their decision on cutting the deficit. (Photo …
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The Committee on House Administration has released data from the Office of Compliance (OOC) showing it paid $342,225.85 in taxpayer funds on settlements and awards for sexual harassment and discrimination charges leveled against House members between fiscal year 2008 and fiscal year 2012.

OCC announced the detailed information on Tuesday following widespread outrage that taxpayers, not lawmakers, were paying for settlements and awards, and that details about the nature of the charges and the fiscal totals paid out were not for public consumption.

The release is “part of the Committee on House Administration’s extensive review of sexual harassment and discrimination in the congressional workplace,” according to the announcement, which said the data was given to Rep. Gregg Harper (R-MI), chairman of the committee.

The announcement said, in part, “The OOC provided the committee with additional statistics of settlements and awards paid by type of claims as a result of cases originating with an employing office in the House of Representatives from FY2008 – FY2012.”

Harper said in the press release:

As I have stated from the beginning of this review, one case of sexual harassment is one case too many. We must create a culture within our Capitol Hill community that instills in every employee and employer, new and old, that there is no place for sexual harassment in the halls of Congress.

As part of my Committee’s review, I asked the Office of Compliance for a breakdown of the $17 million total amount that has been reported by their office for all cases involving claims of violations of the Congressional Accountability Act. We released the original data provided to the Committee on December 1.

“The OOC has provided our committee with additional information from FY2008 through FY2012 involving offices within the House of Representatives,” Harper said, adding that more information is still needed.

“The Committee has yet to receive all of the information we requested,” Harper said. “We will continue to investigate the OOC’s record-keeping practices as part of our extensive review.”

Here are the details provided from the OOC:

Claims against Member-led Offices from 2008-2012:

1. sex discrimination, retaliation, & FLSA violation                                                    $15,225.00

2. sex and disability discrimination & retaliation                                                        $8,160.00

3. retaliation                                                                                                                        $10,000.00

4. race and disability discrimination & retaliation                                                      $17,500.00

5. retaliation                                                                                                                        $15,333.33

6. sexual harassment and harassment because of retaliation                                  $85,000.00

7. sex discrimination (including sexual harassment) & retaliation                         $10,000.00

8. sexual harassment because of retaliation & sex discrimination                          $20,000.00

9. disability discrimination & retaliation                                                                      $50,000.00

10. sex discrimination, retaliation & FLSA violation                                                  $12,100.00

11. race discrimination                                                                                                      $5,000.00

12. age discrimination                                                                                                       $65,000.00

13. age discrimination                                                                                                       $5,000.00

14. race, age, national origin, sex, and disability discrimination & retaliation     $8,000.00

15. race and sex discrimination, retaliation & FMLA violation                                $15,907.52

Total of Settlement Amounts for Member-led offices:                              $342,225.85

                                                     . . .

Claims Against Non-Member-led Offices from 2008-2012:

1. race and age discrimination & retaliation                                                                $12,240.00

Total of Settlement Amounts for Non-Member-led Offices:                  $12,240.00

Total of Settlement Amounts for All House Offices (2008-2012):       $354,465.85


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