Before the end of October, the Department of the Treasury paid out $934,754 to Congressional employees in compensation for sexual harassment and other issues related to their employment to Senators and Members of Congress. A report by the congressional Office of Compliance that the greatest number of settlements took place in 2007. It was then that 25 victims of harassment were compensated a total of $4.05 million for abuse and other issues while working for Congress.

In 2016, 15 victims were compensated a total of $588,049. In sum,  264 victims have been paid a total of $17 million since 1997. During most of that time, settlements ranged from seven to 18 per year. Only 10 settlements were reported for 2002, but a total of $3.97 million was paid to the victims, which is significantly higher than the average award amount.

The Office of Compliance released the numbers ahead of the scheduled early 2018 release date because of an increasing number of recent requests. "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.

According to Grundmann, many of the cases in the report originated from both the House and Senate and dealt with non-harassment 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.

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Martin Barillas is a former US diplomat and the editor of Spero News.

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