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Workplace discrimination suits cost taxpayers over $300K

As more and more workers are being held accountable for their actions of harassment, recent statistics from the federal House Office of Compliance show that the U.S. House of Representatives has paid over $300,000 in disputes over recent years. The workplace discrimination lawsuits in the House have proved to be costly for taxpayers. Individuals in Wisconsin can take heart, knowing that harassment and discrimination continue to be taken seriously in the workplace, and penalties exist for offenders. 

The statistics reference cases from 2008 to 2012. The full details of the settlements were not released, as the report does not reveal the lawmakers' offices involved or name accusers, and it is not made clear whether the lawmaker or a member of the staff were responsible for the action. The total funds paid to workers total more than $342,000. 

Approximately $175,000 of the sum paid was in reference to eight separate sexual harassment cases. Other incidents of workplace discrimination, including age, sex, and race discrimination and retaliation also occurred. The report does not cover every incident that occurred within this period, as some settlements are paid privately from congressional office budgets. In light of the revealed information, along with news coverage of other members of Congress stepping down, new training policies have been enacted. 

Workplace discrimination exists across all industries. In Wisconsin, workers are protected from unfair discrimination based on age, race, sex, religion or national origin. Many individuals who have experienced this type of harassment have taken their cases to court and received compensation for damages. A person who has been the victim of discrimination may choose to consult with an attorney for an evaluation of the case. 

Source: spectrumlocalnews.com, "House paid over $300K in workplace discrimination disputes", Dec. 19, 2017

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