Con Edison recently agreed to pay $3.8 million to up to 300 female workers to settle a sexual harassment and gender discrimination lawsuit. The suit, which was filed on the behalf of the workers by the EEOC, claimed that the women were regularly subjected to sexual harassment, and faced unequal treatment such as lower wages and fewer promotions than less-qualified male coworkers.
One long-time employee claimed that she had faced sexual harassment at the workplace for years. On one occasion, she was given a form that she needed to complete in order to have repairs performed on her Con Edison truck; somebody had already filled it out with vulgar references to her body. Further, she was repeatedly passed over for a promotion in favor of male coworkers with fewer qualifications, and was suspended by male supervisors for alleged “insubordination.” Some of the women said that they were not given safety gear or tools in situations where their male counterparts were given both. Others claimed that they were given less positive evaluations than male coworkers, even though they did comparable work.
Several employees filed complaints with Con Edison’s Office of Diversity & Inclusion about the unlawful work conditions, but were ignored or retaliated against. Seven current and former employees decided to report the unlawful treatment they experienced to the EEOC. After the EEOC filed a lawsuit on behalf of the women, Con Edison agreed to set aside $3.8 million dollars for employees who had faced sexual harassment, gender discrimination and retaliation.
Letters will be sent to approximately 300 workers, notifying them that they will receive $5,000 each from a pool of $1.65 million. The remainder of the $3.8 million settlement will go towards paying additional amounts to employees who were subjected to repeated sexual harassment, gender discrimination and retaliation.
City, state, and federal laws forbid sexual harassment and discrimination in the workplace
The female employees in the Con Edison lawsuit faced sexual harassment, hostile work environment, and unequal treatment at work on a regular basis. Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, the New York State Human Rights Law, and the New York City Human Rights Law state that once an employer becomes aware that these forms of unlawful activity are present in the workplace, it must take action to put an end to them. By neglecting to act and retaliating against employees who filed complaints, Con Edison implicated itself in the unlawful activities.
The lawyers at Akin Law Group are here to help
If you have faced sexual harassment or discrimination in the workplace, contact the lawyers at Akin Law Group as soon as possible. They are highly experienced in matters of employment law, and will be able to advise you on the best course of action moving forward.