Report finds no widespread issues in handling employee complaints at powerful SoCal water agency accused of violations

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This undated file photo shows Metropolitan Water District headquarters in downtown Los Angeles.(Al Seib / Los Angeles Times)

This undated file photo shows Metropolitan Water District headquarters in downtown Los Angeles.(Al Seib / Los Angeles Times)

A powerful Southern California water agency accused by some employees of sexual harassment and other workplace violations “generally provides a safe and respectful working environment” for people of color, women and LGBTQ+ workers, a report on the agency concludes.

The review of the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California found no systemic problems in how the agency handles complaints of harassment, racism, retaliation and other alleged discrimination. But it found the agency had not properly responded to such complaints in the past and said some current equity policies are inconsistently applied.

The 67-page review was conducted by the Shaw Law Group, the Sacramento-based firm hired after several employees related personal experiences of alleged harassment at public meetings. The board of directors approved an independent review in November.

A subsequent investigation by The Times found a pattern of complaints among women working in trades positions and enrolled in the trades apprenticeship program, which mostly recruited men. Of the 18 women who worked in trades positions between 2003 and 2019, six filed formal equal employment opportunity complaints, according to district records.

Read the full story on LATimes.com.

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