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State Attorney General Settles $3.8M Con Ed Sexual Harassment Claim

New York Attorney General and the EEOC have reached a settlement in a sexual harassment complaint against Con Edison.
New York Attorney General and the EEOC have reached a settlement in a sexual harassment complaint against Con Edison. Photo Credit: New York Attorney General's Office

NEW YORK – State Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman and the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission have reached a joint settlement with Consolidated Edison Co. of New York Inc. to resolve allegations of ongoing sexual harassment and discrimination against women in field positions.

The agreement requires Con Edison to reserve up to $3.8 million to be distributed among eligible settlement group members – over 300 female workers employed in field jobs – through a claims process to be administered by the Attorney General’s Office and the EEOC.

“Sadly, the fight against gender discrimination and harassment in the workplace is ongoing, and we will use every tool we can to make it a thing of the past,” said Attorney General Schneiderman.

The women workers, all of whom were employed at Con Edison from 2006-14, alleged that the company failed to address widespread harassment and discrimination faced by women in field positions by male co-workers and supervisors. These women work with men in power stations, manholes and other physically strenuous field positions. The women alleged they were:

  • Denied, delayed and given subpar on-the-job training compared with their male peers.
  • Assigned menial “make work” tasks and isolated by male co-workers in group work settings.
  • Refused or stonewalled when seeking admission to classes necessary for promotions.
  • Not provided tools or safety gear in situations where male co-workers were supplied both.
  • Denied adequately sanitary and private restroom, shower and changing facilities.
  • Subjected to disparate and excessive discipline compared with male co-workers who engaged in comparable conduct.
  • Given less positive performance evaluations than their male counterparts for doing comparable work.
  • Denied overtime assignments despite eligibility under collective bargaining agreements.

In addition to providing monetary relief to eligible settlement class members, Con Edison will.

  • Retain an independent consultant to evaluate Con Edison’s compliance with the terms of agreement.
  • Retain an independent equal employment opportunity specialist to develop and conduct employee training.
  • Institute improved policies and protocols concerning the investigation of discrimination and harassment complaints.
  • Provide training to field supervisors on Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, with an emphasis on illegal sex discrimination and sex harassment.

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