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Oregon Legislature reaches $1.1M settlement over harassment case

The Oregon Legislature will pay $1.1 million to eight victims of sexual harassment and hostile workplace behavior at the state Capitol under a settlement announced by the state labor department.

Posted: Mar 5, 2019 4:21 PM

SALEM, Ore. (AP) -- The Oregon Legislature will pay $1.1 million to eight victims of sexual harassment and hostile workplace behavior at the state Capitol under a settlement announced by the state labor department.

House Speaker Tina Kotek and Senate President Peter Courtney, both Democrats, issued a joint statement apologizing to the "women who suffered harm during their time in the Capitol."

Both leaders were accused of not thoroughly addressing multiple allegations of sexual harassment. The 75-year-old Courtney took a 10-day medical leave on Tuesday to recover from a flare-up of thyroid eye disease.

In addition, a ninth victim, Sen. Sara Gelser, D-Corvallis, will be paid $26,612 by the Legislature for attorney's fees and other out-of-pocket expenses.

The labor department said its complaint process was politicized and inhibited both sides from participating thoroughly in its investigation.

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