Case Western’s Law School is facing some internal heat from one of his Professors, Raymond Ku, who has sued the University and its Dean, Lawrence Mitchell, claiming he was retaliated against for reporting possible sexual harassment by the Dean towards a female individual.
Specifically, Ku claims that he saw Mitchell caress the back of an assistant dean at an August 2011 party at Mitchell’s home. The assistant dean’s back was “somewhat exposed” according to Kus, because she was wearing a dress. After witnessing the act, Ku discussed it with other professors at the University and he claims that other professors saw the conduct and that Mitchell made comments during the same party to the female faculty member that were upsetting and “creepy” to the other parties who heard the statements.
Ku claims that also reported the conduct to Provost and Executive Vice President W.A. Baelack, the Dean’s direct supervisor. He claims that Baelack advised him to approach Mitchell directly about the conduct, which Ku then did, only to be, according to Ku, berated by Mitchell for raising the issue.
As retaliation, Ku claims in his complaint that Mitchell sought to discredit him, monitored Ku’s blog posts, excluded him from matters in which he would customarily be involved as associate dean, gave him extra assignments, and refused to consider him or other internal candidates for a newly endowed chair for a faculty member teaching intellectual property.
As a result, according to Ku, he resigned from his position of associate dean for academic affairs, claiming that he had been constructively discharged. This action resulted in a pay cut to Ku’s salary. Ku was also removed from the co-directorship of the Center for Law, Technology & the Arts, resulting in another pay cut, once again, according to Ku’s claims in this suit.
Critically, this case emphasizes that a lawsuit can be maintained on behalf of employee that complains of unlawful sexual harassment even if that employee was not the direct subject of the sexual harassment. Indeed, employees that are not the subject of race, gender, national origin, religious or other forms of discrimination, still gain protection from retaliation under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and Ohio’s R.C. § 4112.99 from the moment that they oppose such conduct to Human Resources or their superiors.
We will be filing this sexual harassment retaliation suit very closely and will keep you posted.
If you feel that you are being sexually harassed or are working in a sexually charged or hostile working environment, you should not wait to call the right attorney at 866-797-6040 to schedule a free and confidential consultation. At The Spitz Law Firm, you will meet with a sexual harassment lawyer/hostile work environment attorney to find out what your legal rights are and the best way to protect them. Sexual harrassment is a form of gender discrimination, and employers should be held accountable if they discriminate against female workers in any fashion – but particularly for sexual harrassment.
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