Washington Babylon — July 13, 2010, 8:39 am

Your Tax Dollars At Work: Paying for sexual harassment

From Politico:

Taxpayers have paid out nearly $1 million per year in settlements to congressional employees who have been harassed or otherwise treated badly by their political bosses over the past 14 years, according to records from the Office of Compliance.

The payouts stem from hundreds of complaints from employees, some of whom may have been sexually harassed or treated so poorly that third-party mediators were brought in to negotiate cash payoffs to settle the cases.

The story says that 2007 was an especially busy year for sexual harassment on the Hill: that year the government agency that oversees the dispute resolution system “settled 38 cases, with 25 resulting in monetary awards worth $4 million.”

And which members of congress are involved in these cases? Sorry: “For privacy reasons, the details of all these cases — including the names of the victims and the alleged harassers — are almost never made public. Lawmakers, regardless of whether they are guilty of workplace violations, do not pay a dime for the settlements, while taxpayers foot the bill for the lawyers.”

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I sat in a taxi with Emma and her son, Stak, all three bodies muscled into the rear seat, and the boy checked the driver’s I.D. and immediately began to speak to the man in an unrecognizable language.

I conferred quietly with Emma, who said he was studying Pashto, privately, in his spare time. Afghani, she said, to enlighten me further.

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