Con Ed settles over accusations of sexual harassment, inequality

Con Edison building at 4 Irving Place

Con Edison building at 4 Irving Place

By Maria Rocha-Buschel

Con Edison has agreed to a settlement with Attorney General Eric Schneiderman to resolve accusations of ongoing discrimination and sexual harassment against women working in field positions for the company.

The agreement requires that Con Ed reserve up to $3.8 million that will be distributed to over 300 female workers employed in field jobs through a claims process administered by the EEOC and the attorney general. A representative from Con Edison said that the utility had voluntarily entered into the settlement agreement to resolve the investigations that began in 2007 and the agreement resolves the investigation without findings of wrongdoing. However, complaints alleged that the company failed to take effective action to improve or prevent the discriminatory conditions. The women in field positions even reported that they faced retaliation when they complained to supervisors or to Con Edison’s Office of Diversity & Inclusion about their work conditions.

“I worked at Con Edison for thirteen years, primarily as an Inspector in the field,” Con Ed Inspector Kawana Howard said. “I loved my job, was good at what I did and took pride in the fact that I was helping to keep our city running. Yet over the years I faced gender-based discrimination from my some of my male supervisors and co-workers and was retaliated against when I complained, ultimately culminating in my recent termination.”

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Thirteenth Precinct holds 9/11 ceremony

Pat Lynch of the Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association, Deputy Inspector Brendan Timoney of the 13th Precinct and Arlene Harrison, president of the Gramercy Park Block Association (Photo by Maria Rocha-Buschel)

Pat Lynch of the Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association, Deputy Inspector Brendan Timoney of the 13th Precinct and Arlene Harrison, president of the Gramercy Park Block Association (Photo by Maria Rocha-Buschel)

By Maria Rocha-Buschel

The NYPD gathered with community residents last Friday morning to commemorate the 14th anniversary of the September 11th terrorist attacks and honor the officers of the 13th Precinct, Moira Smith and Robert Fazio, who lost their lives.

The ceremony began at 8:30 and there was a moment of silence held at 8:46 a.m., the time that the first plane flew into the North Tower at the World Trade Center.

Reverend Tom Pike, former rector of Calvary Church, gave an invocation for the memorial, first reflecting on the dedication of the men and women of service who were working that day.

“Someone here was telling me earlier that there were two things he would never forget,” Pike said. “One was walking down those stairs out of the tower. The second thing he said was, ‘I’ll never forget that I saw people walking up those same stairs, the men and women in uniform, and I’ll never forget those faces.’ We’ll never forget these people.”

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No primary for 74th District, but no one tells voters about it

Signs at a Stuyvesant Town polling place in a prior election year

Signs at a Stuyvesant Town polling place in a prior election year

By Sabina Mollot

On Primary Day, which this year was on September 10, voters living in the 74th Assembly District were left without a chance to vote — not that anyone bothered to tell them this.

A primary wasn’t held in the district due to a lack of contested races, a spokesperson for the Board of Elections told Town & Village, but with no warnings about a cancellation, some die-hards still went out to cast their votes. One voter, Stuyvesant Town resident Susan Schoenbaum, told Town & Village she ended up wandering through much of the complex — after seeing that her assigned polling site, 10 Stuyvesant Oval, was closed with no sign of activity. The usual white and blue “Vote Here” signs in English and Spanish that get placed near polling sites on election days were also nowhere to be found.

Schoenbaum said she had not received anything in the mail about a polling site change, and an online check later of where her polling site should have been, on the city Board of Elections website, also showed it as being 10 Oval.

After walking around a while, and asking contractors on site in a golf cart if they knew where she could vote — they didn’t — Schoenbaum popped into the Public Safety office. There, an employee told her the department had received word the primary had been postponed until November.

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