Consolidated Edison, one of the largest energy companies in the United States, just settled a gender discrimination and sexual harassment lawsuit with more than 300 women employees totaling $3.8 million.
The female employees that filed the lawsuit claim that they were harassed, paid less than male employees doing similar work, and not given promotions because of their gender. In addition, female employees also allegedly endured the following:
- One female employee was given a form with graphic images of female body parts.
- One female employee alleges a male co-worker purposely ran in to her parked truck.
- When any of the female employees had discrepancies in the workplace they were labeled as “angry”.
- An employee claims she was terminated as retaliation when she filed a discrimination complaint.
- The investigation, which began in 2007, was the result of Consolidated-Edison failing to address the hostile working environment complaints alleged by female employees. Female employees were feeling they had to ‘’toughen up’ in order to continue working in the “boy’s club”.
Payouts will begin being distributed amongst 300 female employees. Each employee will receive $5,000 and then Consolidated-Edison has an additional pool of money set aside for employees that experienced repeated or more severe cases of harassment, termination or retaliation.
The settlement sends a message to Consolidated-Edison, employers across New York state, as well as companies nationwide, that sexual harassment will not be tolerated. Attorney General Eric Schneiderman recently went on record saying that “All women—especially those working in male-dominated workplaces—deserve respect and equal treatment.” We agree.
*image by Reeve Jolliffe, Flickr
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