After repeated accusations of administration mismanagement regarding sexual harassment claims, University of California President Janet Napolitano announced a new review process to address harassment allegations. The new policy is being put in place after negative reactions to the handling of claims of sexual harassment against the UC Berkeley Law School dean Sujit Choudhry, history professor Gabriel Piterberg, astronomer Geoffrey Marcy, and UC Berkeley Vice Chancellor for Research Graham Fleming.
The punishments for each of these high-profile sexual harassment claims were criticized by UC students and faculty. Choudhry’s punishment consisted of a one-year, 10% pay cut and requirements to attend counseling and write an apology letter. Piterberg was given a $3,000 fine and a one quarter suspension without pay. Marcy received only a warning, but was forced out of his position by his colleagues. Fleming was forced to resign, but was shuffled to a non-teaching position. In addition to the new review process, Napolitano banned Choudhry from campus and is requesting disciplinary proceedings through the Academic Senate, a faculty group. She has also removed Fleming from his non-teaching position.
See the full news article from the L.A. Times here.
Napolitano’s recent actions are a step in the right direction for the UC system. Too often, as was the case with the University of California, accusations of sexual harassment are not investigated thoroughly and punishments are not handed out appropriately. Perona, Langer, Beck, Serbin and Harrison has an experienced team of attorneys, paralegals, and support staff dedicated to helping the victims of sexual harassment in the workplace. Contact us today at (800) 435-7542 for a confidential, free consultation.