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Con Ed settles suit alleging harassment, bias against female workers

Con Ed settles suit alleging harassment, bias against female workers

Consolidated Edison Co. of New York Inc. will pay $3.8 million to settle charges of sexual harassment and sexual discrimination against its female employees, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission said Wednesday.

The $3.8 million will be distributed among up to 300 women employed by Con Ed in physically “strenuous” field positions traditionally held by males between 2006 and 2014, the EEOC said in a statement. Such jobs included working at power stations and in manholes.

The women alleged they faced “widespread harassment by male co-workers,” a gender-based hostile work environment, that they were denied promotions or their promotion requests were delayed, that Con Ed did nothing about their complaints and that they were subjected to retaliation when they did complain to supervisors, the EEOC said.

In addition to the fine on charges that the utility violated Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Con Ed has agreed to bring in an independent consultant to evaluate its compliance with the settlement, have an independent specialist develop and conduct employee training, revise its policies, and train supervisors on the civil rights law with an emphasis on illegal sexual discrimination and sexual harassment.

“All women, including those working in male-dominated workplaces, are entitled to equal justice under law,” Attorney General Eric Schneiderman said in the statement.

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