A new report issued by the United States Congress Office of Compliance is a compliance document that details the awards and settlements funded by taxpayers, and paid to victims of sexual harassment and other work-related issues on Capitol Hill. The numbers are staggering.
According to the Congressional Accountability Act of 1995 (CAA), the Office of Compliance must “compile and publish statistics” on employees who use the Office to file a complaint and to further record their reason and result.
On Thursday, “based on the volume of recent inquiries regarding payment of awards and settlements reached under the CAA,” executive director Susan Tsui Grundmann released the figures “beginning with Fiscal Year 1997, up to and including FY 2017.”
Grundman said that a “large portion of cases originate from employing offices in the legislative branch other than the House of Representatives or the Senate,” and that they involve “various statutory provisions incorporated by the CAA, such as the overtime provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act, the Family and Medical Leave Act, and the Americans with Disabilities Act.”
The statistics are not broken down into specific claims; however, in 2017 alone, the Treasury Department paid $934,754 to eight congressional employees who were the victims of various work issues. By comparison, in all of 2016, there were 15 victims who were compensated a total of $588,049. 2007 saw the most payouts, with 25 employees receiving over $4 million in settlements that year.
In total, 264 victims have been paid a median average of $400,0000 per victim, and a mean average of $64,000. for a total of $17 million in settlements or awards since 1997.
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