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NYC Sued in Harassment Case

July 16, 2001

NEW YORK (AP) _ The federal government has sued the city, saying it did not do enough to protect women in its workfare program from sexual and racial harassment, including harassment by supervisors.

The suit claims four women were harassed and the city did not repond adequately to their complaints, The New York Times reported Sunday. The suit seeks compensatory damages and asks the city to halt the improper conduct.

Employment law experts said it’s unusual for the federal government to file such complaints. The government sued only after efforts to negotiate failed, the newspaper said.

The suit charges three women were sexually harassed, with two claiming supervisors touched them improperly. The fourth woman, who is black, said she saw racial caricatures and a noose hanging in a window of a building she was assigned to paint.

City officials denied that Mayor Rudolph Giuliani’s administration has permitted harassment in the program, under which welfare recipients work for their benefits.

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