Florida taxpayers paid more than $11 million over 30 years in sexual harassment cases


Florida State Capitol - MICHAEL RIVERA
  • Michael Rivera
  • Florida State Capitol
The state during the past 30 years has paid more than $11 million to settle over 300 complaints filed by women and men who alleged sexual harassment in the workplace or said they worked in hostile environments, according to information released Monday.

The largest payment on the list, $1.3 million, was made as part of a class-action lawsuit against the Department of Corrections filed by nurses who worked for the department. According to the information, the alleged harassment occurred in 2001, and payment was made in 2007.

The list shows that payments were made to employees who worked at a spate of state agencies in addition to the Department of Corrections, including the Department of Health and the Agency for Health Care Administration, among others.

The list contains one payment for $165,000 to a woman who filed a sexual harassment complaint against the Florida Legislature. The harassment occurred in 1994, and payment was made three years later.

In addition to including complaints against state agencies, the list shows allegations of sexual harassment were made at seven of the 12 state universities —- Florida State University, the University of Central Florida, the University of Florida, the University of South Florida, Florida Atlantic University, Florida A&M University and the University of West Florida.

The information stems from a request made by The News Service of Florida for payments the state made over the past 30 years. While Florida paid $11 million to settle sexual-harassment and hostile-environment cases, it has paid more than $74 million overall to settle nearly 2,100 employment-related claims.

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