Sex harassment complaints against New York City’s municipal employees increased in number by 22% during the 2018-2019 fiscal year, the New York Daily News reported. According to the news story:
- From July 2018 to June 2019, NYC tallied 578 sexual harassment complaints against municipal employees — 106 more complaints counted than the year before.
- NYC settled 20 of the sex harassment cases for a total of $3.62 million in taxpayer money during the 2019 fiscal year — compared to 10 cases and $2.29 million in settlements the prior year.
- At least 74 of the 578 complaints were substantiated, the mayor’s office said, but more could be in time as investigators resolve the year’s harassment cases.
The increased number of complaints aligns with a rise in incident reporting, national trends, and, in part, because of NYC’s attempts to handle cases better.
NYC publicizes its internal information on harassment complaints pursuant to a law passed by the City Council, following local sympathy for the #MeToo movement.
Councilor Helen Rosenthal, who chairs the Committee on Women and Gender Equity, said she suspects many sex harassment complaints in NYC government still go unreported.
“It’s hard to believe that the number of those who are sexually harassed is just 578 out of the 362,000 or so city employees — I’m sure the number is much higher,” she said in the New York Daily News. “But it’s good more people feel comfortable enough to come forward when they feel they’re being abused or mistreated.”
When someone is sexually harassed, it can have many long-lasting impacts. An experienced attorney may help a client who was the victim of harassment in a workplace to receive compensation from the employer. The attorney may be a safe, listening ear for the client to explain the harassment they underwent, and the attorney may be a source of legal advice for options the victim has to face the difficult situation.