We often hear about nepotism in the workplace – parents promoting their children to positions they do not necessarily deserve – but it is also possible for supervisors to protect their relatives from other serious workplace violation allegations. One California university employee has filed a suit against the son of the Sacramento State president, arguing that administrators ignored complaints and even retaliated after the man reported the abuse. The claim alleges that the president’s son, who was also working in the Office of University Advancement, touched the victim and made inappropriate comments at work.
The victim claims that he had filed complaints with his supervisors and the university’s human resources department, but higher-ups showed failure to take prompt corrective action. It appears that the president’s son was the victim’s immediate supervisor, and he began harassing him after the victim transferred to the department in 2008. Human resources officials say that a thorough investigation did not yield any concrete evidence of sexual harassment or retaliation.
The fact that the university’s investigation did not uncover any wrongdoing should not be surprising, considering the professional connections held by the alleged offender in this case. It is possible that human resources staff were loath to pursue a complete investigation into the matter because the violator is the son of the school’s president. Despite the investigation’s paltry results, the victim claims that he was demoted and refused opportunities for professional advancement because he complained about the hostile work environment.
News reports show that the victim in this case is seeking compensation for lost wages, along with medical expenses, pain and suffering and even physical injury. The suit does not specify the amount of damages sought. Victims who have suffered from sexual harassment in the workplace often also face efforts to discredit their claims. These individuals deserve to be heard in a fair and unbiased legal proceeding. Employment attorneys can help these victims learn more about their legal rights and options.
Source: The Sacramento Bee, “Sacramento State employee alleges sexual harassment by campus president’s son ” Diana Lambert, Dec. 12, 2013