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Western Kentucky University

Sexual Harassment Training

Legal Cases


Lafayette College (Staff versus Staff)

Lafayette College was mandated to pay $1 million due to harassment, sexual in nature. Five women reported incidences to the United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission due to Barry Stauffer's, a University police officer, inappropriate behavior and actions. The officer "grabbed the breasts and buttocks of female employees, looked inside their shirts, made lewd comments describing sex acts he wanted to perform on them...unsnapped their bras...[and] sent...emails with pornographic content." The year prior, Stauffer was found guilty for harassing two other women who were University employees.

Callaway, B. (2010, April 24). $1 million settlement in Lafayette case: Deal ends EEOC sex harassment suit by several women against ex-college police officer. Lehigh Valley's Newspaper The Morning Call. Retrieved April 7, 2012, from http://articles.mcall.com/2010-04-24/news/all-a6_3lafayette.7250418apr24_1_female- college-employees-barry-stauffer-college-spokesman-roger-clow

What Could Have Been Done Differently to Prevent the Sexual Harassment?

Sexual harassment training for all employees would have educated individuals about reporting harassment incidences to the administration in a timely manner. If actions by the police officer was reported the first time it happened, and the University would have disciplined him because the harassment was severe and pervasive, Lafayette would not have had to pay the settlement and the females would not have had to endure such behavior from the officer.

 

The University of Wisconsin (Athletic Director and Student/Employee)

The University of Wisconsin received a letter of resignation from their Senior Associate Athletic Director, John Chadima, who allegedly harassed a male student. John was accused of removing the student's belt, touching the student inappropriately, stating he would terminate him if he shared the incident with anyone. The University student/employee is at least 21 years of age, and was provided alcohol from John in a hotel room after a football game. After the incident occurred, the student notified his boss and peers. Chadima wrote, "I make no excuses and accept full responsibility for my actions...I deeply regret leaving under these circumstances and disappointing those people with and for whom I have worked and dedicated my career..." Questions have been asked about when exactly the harassment began? Did it start through alcohol consumption, an invitation to the hotel room, the belt removal? John Chadima served in a supervisory capacity over the student; therefore, possibilities of ceasing any "fraternization" among students and employees is being reviewed.

Goodwin, M. (2012, January 30). Defining sexual harassment. The Chronicle of Higher Education. Retrieved April 4, 2012, from http://chronicle.com/blogs/brainstorm/defining- sexual-harassment/43567

What Could Have Been Done Differently to Prevent the Sexual Harassment?

When an individual is in a position of power, he or she should avoid any one-on-one interactions, especially in what is considered personal space such as a room. If the individuals would have been in a group setting, their interactions of collegiality would have been more appropriate. The difference in age, in addition to power and authority should make an individual stop and think. Any manager, faculty, or staff should understand this type of relationship can be reported. It is the perception of the receiving party. The combination of all behaviors and actions were inappropriate. The situations of not giving alcohol to the student, inviting the student to the room, or removing the belt could have avoided. In addition, the director's resignation and embarrassment of the University could have been prevented.

 

Voorhees College (Professor and University President)

Voorhees College President, Lee Monroe, was convicted of sexually harassing a female professor, Moreen Joseph, for two years. The president was charged with making several unwanted sexual advances and notified the professor that if she agreed to participate her career would blossom; however, if she chose otherwise she would be punished. It was stated that Joseph was fired. The college stated Joseph did not follow the policy on reporting sexual harassment and that she was not terminated, but chose to leave. Moreen won her case "resulting in $100,000 in compensatory damages [and] $400,000 in punitive damages." Voorhees was noted as not acting "with malice or reckless indifference to her federally protected rights."

Lederman, D. (2007, May 2). $500,000 harassment verdict against a president. Inside Higher Ed.
Retrieved April 7, 2012, from http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2007/05/02/voorhees

What Could Have Been Done Differently to Prevent the Sexual Harassment?

The president should be aware of University policy on sexual harassment and should know that a condition on sexual advances is considered Quid Pro Quo, in addition to severe and pervasive which creates a hostile work environment for the female professor. If Dr. Joseph reported the harassment on time she would give the University the opportunity to investigate and ensure the outcome provided would be handled accordingly.

 

 

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 Last Modified 9/24/14