The federal government paid more than $375,0000 to settle claims filed against the offices of House lawmakers from 2003 until 2013, according to a new report.
Among those settlements, more than $85,000 was paid to settle complaints of sexual harassment, while sex discrimination claims accounted for more than $30,000 in settlements paid out to Hill employees.
Office of Compliance Director Susan Tsui Grundmann supplied the numbers to the House Administration Committee, which is examining the history of sexual harassment in the House and ways to curb the behavior.
The numbers do not reveal specifically which settlements, if any, came as the result of sexual harassment claims.
Instead, the settlements are categorized more broadly to include discrimination based on race, sex, age, disability and other factors.
Grundmann, in a letter to House Administration Committee Chairman Gregg Harper, R-Miss., said the office cannot provide more details because of privacy protections built into the 1995 law that governs the office.
“Our ability to respond to your request is constrained by confidentiality provisions,” Grundmann wrote Harper, adding that some details are unknown. “The Office of Compliance cannot be certain why some cases settled.”
House lawmakers are weighing legislation to curb sexual harassment on Capitol Hill and has been seeking more details about federal money spent settling such claims.
In the letter to Harper, the office supplied overall figures for settlements paid out under the law during the five-year span. Claims made involving non-member legislative branch offices, which could include the office of the Capitol Architect or the Capitol Police, for example, totaled about $46,000.