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Allegations of harassment, discrimination at university

A California university is facing allegations of discrimination, sexual harassment and retaliation. A nurse at the University of California, San Francisco, has filed a lawsuit against the university, the UC Board of Regents and the UC President.

In October 2017, the nurse reported her supervisor for religious discrimination and sexual harassment. Her attorney says that although her complaint was validated, she has been harassed by coworkers, the supervisor and the university since filing the claim. Furthermore her attorney alleges that this is a pattern of behavior at UCSF. He says that the university opens complaints about people who report harassment or discrimination and terminate employees via those complaints.

Her attorney said that harassment had led to his client no longer wearing her hijab to work. He also said one coworker asked her if she knew ISIS. In a Feb. 7 press release, he said that his client was being investigated and written up for things that did not occur in the hopes that she would quit. The lawsuit alleges whistleblower retaliation, retaliation, religious discrimination, national origin discrimination, gender discrimination, failure to prevent harassment and sexual harassment.

As this case demonstrates, even when an organization has a procedure in place for reporting and investigating harassment, the employee may still be dissatisfied with the result. A company or organization might protect a high-level harasser at an employee's expense. Employees who are planning to go through channels at work to report harassment and discrimination might still want to consult an attorney about their rights as well as how to recognize and document retaliation. The case might progress to a lawsuit if the workplace is not responsive. An employer might also offer a settlement out of court.

Source: Daily Cal, "UCSF nurse files suit alleging retaliation for reporting workplace harassment, discrimination", Rishabh Nijhawan, Feb. 12, 2018

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