The harassment and discrimination claims stem from 105 cases filed with the Office of Compliance last year, meaning one person could make more than one claim. The vast majority of cases involve the large workforce under Architect of the Capitol and Capitol Police, with about a fifth of the cases coming from House and Senate offices.
While the total number of complaints has risen, the payouts in settlements fluctuate year to year.
In fiscal 2010, taxpayers paid $246,271 to settle nine matters brought to the OOC over the years. That’s a big drop from the previous year, where $831,360 was spent to settle 13 claims. The cash awards settled matters of discrimination and harassment, as well as retaliation claims and disputes over contracts and pay. Since fiscal 1997, taxpayers have footed the bill for more than $13.2 million in cases resolved by the OOC.