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Louisiana pays out millions in sexual harrasment claims

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Louisiana’s legislative auditor says the state has spent more than $5 million on lawsuits involving sexual harassment claims since 2009.
    
Legislative Auditor Daryl Purpera’s office conducted a review of sexual harassment policies in executive branch agencies and procedures for handling accusations.
    
The audit says the state’s self-insurance agency paid the money for “closed claims” involving 84 sexual harassment lawsuits. That includes payments to people who filed claims as well as lawyers’ costs.
    
Of the $5.2 million paid, the review says $1.1 million was tied to sexual harassment lawsuits involving the Department of Corrections.
    
Purpera’s office says executive branch agencies reported 311 internal complaints involving sexual harassment from 2013 through 2017. Auditors warned harassment could be under-reported, however.
    
Lawmakers are considering proposals to enact anti-harassment training and policies across government agencies.
 

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