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Women who exposed sexual harassment at Con Ed seek $20M

Published: November 23, 2015

Publication: New York Post

By Julia Marsh


Toy Guy (right) and Denise Curtis (left).

Two women who first exposed Con Edison as a hotbed of sexual harassment and discrimination claim state Attorney General Eric Schneiderman barely included them in a deal that netted workers as little as $5,000 each.

So now, Toy Guy, 41, of Brooklyn, and Denise Curtis, 40, of Long Island, are suing the utility giant in Manhattan federal court, seeking $20 million.

“The women were very annoyed that the AG did little consultation with them about settlement,” said Guy and Curtis’ attorney, Arthur Schwartz.

“Since they had gone to the [Equal Employment Opportunity Commission] in the first place, they had the right to proceed despite [a] settlement,” Schwartz said.

In court papers, Guy says her married boss asked her to be his mistress when she worked as a general utility worker in 2006. Guy refused and her boss retaliated, the suit alleges.

“Knowing that she was only earning about $30,000 a year and needed overtime to support herself and her son, he found various ways to deny her overtime,” according to the lawsuit.

Curtis faced constant putdowns from male coworkers who claimed “she would not be able to lift manhole covers [which she was trained to do and did],” the suit claims.

“On several occasions, they protested having to work with her on the grounds that she might have to go to the bathroom, a complaint they never raised about men,” the filing says.

Curtis was fired in 2008. Guy is still with Con Ed.

The settlement was reached in September after the EEOC found Con Ed had allowed a “hostile work environment” for women.

The $3.8 million deal will be divided among up to 300 female employees. About half the money will be doled out in $5,000 payments.

Women with more serious claims will get $30,000 to $150,000.

Neither Con Ed nor Schneiderman’s office returned calls for comment.

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