San Francisco, CA– Over the past several years, some colleges across the country have come under heat for failing to address sexual harassment on campuses. Many of those incidents involved student-on-student harassment, but there is an undercurrent of incidents in which teachers, faculty and staff are accused of creating a sexually charged and hostile environment. That is the case of UC Berkeley, which is now under fire after a document release showed that 19 members of the faculty and the staff were accused of sexual harassment, but only a few were disciplined.
The San Jose Mercury News reports that UC Berkley’s Office for the Prevention of Harassment and Discrimination received 19 sexual misconduct complaints against staff members and faculty. And the University is being accused of being tougher on staff members than tenured faculty.
According to the Guardian, in 11 out of 19 complaints filed since 2011, the harassing staff member was fired, but the university refrained from firing professors with tenure and some are still working at UC Berkley. Most of the allegations came from university employees, but there were also complaints from students.
The San Jose Mercury notes that this scandal comes just days after it was revealed that UC Berkley ignored the sexual misconduct of Astronomer Geoff Marcy for over a decade. He was disciplined but in spite of numerous complaints Marcy was never let go despite sexually harassing students repeatedly.
The actions of UC Berkley are not unusual as many employers would rather sweep the problem under the carpet and be lenient with the accused. They don’t take action and adequately discipline the offending employee and instead ignore or unfairly discipline the victim.
By failing to take reasonable action against sexual assault and harassment, colleges and workplaces are sending the message that sexual harassment is acceptable and that the repercussions for sexual misconduct will be minimal. That seems to be the case with UC Berkley, which was inconsistent in their enforcement of sexual harassment policies and found themselves with an inordinate amount of complaints on their hands.
Employers need to stern and fully enforce sexual harassment policies, so the behavior can be curtailed and no one has to suffer the emotional impact of daily abuse. Sexual harassment is embarrassing, humiliating and demoralizing which over time can really wear on the mental health of a person. If you are the victim of sexual harassment, USAttorneys recommends you contact a sexual harassment attorney in California to see if you are eligible for compensation.
If you are facing daily harassment or discrimination in the workplace or on a college campus, you can put an end to it by filing a formal complaint and then contacting one our sexual harassment lawyers in California. They will help you recover all the compensation you are entitled to for your emotional suffering and lost wages.