Con Edison Settles with Female Workers after Discrimination Allegations

Lucie Rivière

On September 9, 2015, New York State Attorney General, Eric Schneiderman, and the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) announced a $3.8 Million settlement between Consolidated Edison Inc (“ConEd”), the Attorney General and EEOC regarding allegations of sexual harassment and gender discrimination against ConEd.

ConEd provides electric, gas, and steam service to approximately 3.4 million customers in New York City and Westchester County. Its female employees alleged that, between 2006 and 2014, they experienced harassment and discrimination at their workplace, including ConEd refusing to allow them to take necessary career-advancement courses, denying them adequate and sanitary restrooms and changing facilities, and failing to provide them with the same tools or safety gear as their male counterparts. The complaint states ConEd was made aware of the situation and failed to take action to improve the conditions. In February 2008, both the EEOC and Attorney General’s Civil Rights Bureau launched an investigation concerning violations of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the New York State and City Human Rights Laws.

The joint settlement agreement requires ConEd to distribute $3.8 million among the eligible settlement group members. In addition, the settlement requires ConEd to:

  • Retain an independent consultant to facilitate implementation of, and evaluate Con Edison’s compliance with, the terms of the settlement;
  • Designate a senior employment attorney in the Law Department to serve as Settlement Implementation Officer who will oversee implementation of, and compliance with, the terms of the 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; and
  • Provide training to field supervisors on Title VII.

“My office will fight to stop discrimination and harassment that women all too often continue to face at work,” said Attorney General Schneiderman. “This agreement sends a clear message to employers across New York State: all women, including those working in male-dominated workplaces, are entitled to equal justice under law.”

If you feel you have been harassed or discriminated against based on your gender, please contact The Harman Firm, LLP.