Nearly $1 million in taxpayer-funded settlements have been paid to eight victims of sexual harassment and other work-related issues on Capitol Hill in 2017, according to a congressional Office of Compliance report released late Thursday.
In the first 10 and a half of months of this year, the Treasury Department paid $934,754 to Capitol Hill employees who were the victims of various work issues.
Last year, 15 victims were compensated a total of $588,049.
In total, 264 victims have been paid a total of $17 million since 1997.
The newly released records show the greatest number of settlements took place in 2007, when 25 victims were compensated a total of $4.05 million for abuse and other issues experienced while working in Congress.
Most years ranged from seven to 18 settlements. In 2002, only 10 settlements were reported, but a total of $3.97 million was paid to victims, which is significantly higher than the average award amount.
The Office of Compliance said it chose to release the numbers ahead of their scheduled early 2018 release because of the increasing number of requests in recent weeks.
"Nothing in this subparagraph requires the Office to release award and settlement figures referenced in Section 1415 of the CAA. However, based on the volume of recent inquiries regarding payment of awards and settlements reached under the CAA, I am releasing these figures beginning with Fiscal Year 1997, up to and including FY 2017," Compliance Executive Director Susan Tsui Grundmann said in a statement.
Grundmann said a large number of the cases in the report originated from offices in both chambers and dealt with nonharassment issues, including overtime provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act, the Family and Medical Leave Act, and the Americans with Disabilities Act.
"The statistics on payments are not further broken down into specific claims because settlements may involve cases that allege violations of more than one of the 13 statutes incorporated by the CAA," she added.