The city Department of Education is failing to make the grade on sexual harassment training.
Only a mere 62% of DOE staffers from September 2021 through last August took a mandatory training course on how to avoid and deal with sexual harassment in the workplace – among the lowest completion rates of any agency, according to an annual report monitoring compliance.
The average citywide completion rate of all agencies was 79%, up from 74% the previous year, according to the Department of Citywide Administrative Services report released last month.
Other departments with low rates included the Bronx County Public Administrator’s office (14%), which has seven workers, and the Department of Correction (72%), which has over 8,400 uniformed workers. The DOE has about 142,000 workers, so it had by far the most employees who failed to take training.
Education officials are working to remind workers they must complete the training, DOE spokesperson Jenna Lyle told Politico, which first reported the training results.
“Ensuring all New York City Public Schools and supporting offices remain safe, welcoming, and affirming environments for students and staff alike is our top priority,” said Lyle.
The mandated training is part of a series of 11 bills signed into law by then-Mayor Bill de Blasio in 2018 aimed at curbing workplace sexual harassment in both the public and private sectors.
A month earlier, de Blasio had come under fire from fellow progressives after questioning whether 471 sexual harassment complaints filed by DOE workers from 2013 through 2017 were legit or merely a result of a “hyper-complaint dynamic.”
He was aiming to deflect criticism over the fact that less than 2 percent of the allegations were substantiated by investigators.