Thousands of MTA Workers Fail to do Sexual Harrassment Training

New York state had a mandatory ruling on the sexual harrasment preventment training. It is required that employers with 15 or more employees would conduct a sexual harrassment preventment training to make the workplace a safe environment for people of all backgrounds. It has been reported that thousands of Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) workers did not complete the sexual harrassment prevention training. The MTA Headquarters did not enforce this action to ensure that their employees receive the training.

Former Governor Andrew Cuomo signed the sexual harrassment training law in 2018. Charlotte Bennett, the person who accussed Andrew Cuomo of the sexual harrassment misconduct, said that the ex-governor asked someone else to do the sexual harrassment prevention course for him.

Long Island Rail Road, Metro-North and MTA Buses had a larger percentage of workers who had completed the training, yet the subway workers did not get a lot of advised training. One report stated, “Training for represented employees is a significant cost to the MTA. Agencies try to minimize the use of overtime when providing training, but this is not always possible.” Only 58 percent of subway employees and 43 percent of Metro-North employees completed the training in 2019. To cut down the cost of training, the MTA reduced the training from annually to once every three years. This was estimated to save $2.8 million in pay; however, the law required that unionized workers receive the sexual harrassment prevention course at least once every year.

MTA spokesman Michael Cortez added, “As the Inspector General is aware, following an agency-wide reorganization new procedures are already in development to increase training completion rates from the 2019 figures cited in the report. Those updated procedures are designed to dramatically increase compliance.”

The MTA is making steps to move forward with the training compliance for all employees by the end of the year. MTA’s Acting Inspector General Elizabeth Keating pressed on the concern that, “Recognizing potentially dangerous or inappropriate workplace situations is how MTA can prevent them from occurring in the first place. It is critical that MTA workers complete these important, mandated courses.”

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