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Employee Sues University That Allegedly Fired Her in Retaliation for Taking Students’ Discrimination Complaints Seriously

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As every faculty member of every university knows, students complain a lot.  Faculty members quickly learn which complaints to ignore, such as “[name of subject you teach] is too hard,” and which to correct; it only makes sense to exclude a test question from the test score if it is truly unanswerable, as students claim, or to give the class an extension on an assignment if you posted the link to the assignment guidelines later than you promised.  Discrimination complaints against students by professors are serious business, however.  Students have the same right to a discrimination-free educational environment as professors and staff members have to a discrimination-free workplace.  Unfortunately, some universities care more about avoiding bad publicity than they do about providing an environment that is conducive to learning.  An employee of a university in California has filed a lawsuit against her former employer, alleging that the university fired her in retaliation for investigating a discrimination claim by a group of students against a professor.  If your employer fired you for doing your professional duty, contact a Los Angeles unlawful retaliation lawyer.

University Refused to Investigate Claims That Professor Discriminated Against Muslim Students

The plaintiff in a recently filed lawsuit began working for a public university in California in 2021.  Her job was to investigate complaints about discrimination and misconduct by university employees, including faculty, staff, and administrators.  When she started her job, she found a large number of complaints for which investigations had not yet begun, some of them filed years earlier by students who had already graduated.  The plaintiff’s supervisors told her to prioritize the complaints by current students, which she did, although she also voiced her concern about complaints that had remained unresolved for years, saying that the former students who had filed them were still waiting for answers.

The biggest problem began when several Muslim students filed a complaint, claiming that a professor had shown offensive images in class without contextualizing them or explaining why the professor was showing them.  When the plaintiff told the university administration that she was beginning an investigation into the complaint, the president and vice president told her to drop the investigation; they claimed that, based on the plaintiff’s brief description of the complaint, they were already sure that the professor’s actions were protected by academic freedom.  They said that they did not want to attract negative attention to the university.  The plaintiff insisted that the matter deserved a full investigation.  The university placed her on leave almost immediately thereafter and terminated her employment several months later.

Speak With a Los Angeles Employer Retaliation Lawyer

A Los Angeles employment discrimination and retaliation lawyer can help you if your employer terminated your employment because you insisted on doing your job correctly and being fair to the beneficiaries of your work.  Contact Litigation, P.C. in Redondo Beach, California to discuss your situation or call (424)284-2401.

Source:

latimes.com/california/story/2024-03-13/sf-state-employee-who-oversaw-sexual-misconduct-and-discrimination-cases-alleges-retaliation

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