Purdue University handles Sexual Harassment Complaints

Indiana – A female employee, Mary Christine Alwan (Valparaiso woman), at Purdue University claims she suffered sexual harassment from two professors, David Brule, and Glenn Parker, on the West Lafayette campus. In addition to her employment with the university, Alwan was also a graduate student.

A civil rights claim was filed in the U.S. Department of Education as well as the EEOC for workplace sexual harassment that took place during the 2014-2015 academic year. The civil rights claim resulted in a settlement outside of court.

The civil rights lawsuit claimed that Alwan endured “sexually explicit comments” from one professor, and “a fully nude photo” from another professor. According to Alwan’s sexual harassment lawyer, the sexual harassment was a traumatizing experience for her client. The sexual harassment lawsuit also acknowledged that, “all too often these type of situations are swept under the rug.” Fortunately, Alwan’s bravery to come forth and inform others about the experience she faced exceeds remarkable. The average woman would’ve allowed all that she represents to conquer the inner feeling encouraging her to speak up.

According to the Associated Press, the civil rights lawsuit has been settled for 200k. In addition to the compensation Alwan received, both professors have departed from the university, which allows Alwan to continue her studies and employment at Purdue University comfortably.

Purdue University breaks the Sexual Harassment Cycle

There is a common cycle regarding sexual harassment in the workplace. It starts with an employee experiencing sexual harassment by a co-worker, supervisor, or someone within one’s job. In most cases, the victim rebuffs unwanted physical advances, inappropriate sexual comments, and other factors connected to sexual harassment. For some reason, with rejection comes retaliation. In addition to an unwanted sexual harassment experience, the employee faces workplace retaliation. Retaliation could come in various forms such as an unnecessary strict discipline, a delayed promotion, or even termination.

On one hand, there is a chance that multiple sexual harassment complaints have been filed prior to the retaliation phase, and the Human Resources division have either ignored the sexual harassment complaints or blatantly refrained from conducting an investigation that examines the allegations more closely. On the other hand, an employee who suffers from the fear of losing his or her job may have eliminated the idea of filing complaints throughout the negative experience, which makes tracking the ongoing sexual harassment harder to prove.

After the retaliation phase, the employee usually seeks legal representation from a sexual harassment lawyer in order to understand his or her rights, ask all questions, and discover the best way to defend one’s rights based on the type of retaliation they experienced.

The entire sexual harassment cycle is exhausting. Utilizing a court and great judgment of a designated jury to resolve a workplace sexual harassment issue is even more tiring. In order to eliminate, a long and drawn out pending litigation, individuals who have been accused of workplace sexual harassment or the company they work for tends to settle the sexual harassment lawsuit outside of court.

Purdue University followed the settlement approach. They also let the two professors resign from the university. It’s not every day that one comes across a University that works diligently to rectify a sexual harassment complaint, award the appropriate compensation, and ensure that the university never have the sexual harassment issue again from the former employees.

Alwan managed to escape the sexual harassment cycle due to Purdue’s breach in the sexual harassment cycle. Purdue is withholding all comments on the sexual harassment settlement “out of respect for the confidentiality of all parties involved.”

Sexual Harassment Lawyers are Available

Unlike Purdue University, a lot of campuses fail to respond in favor of the victim. Purdue’s sexual harassment settlement is a great way to display how campuses should react to sexual harassment in the workplace. If you are a campus employee in New York City, Miami, New Jersey, or Philadelphia in need of a sexual harassment lawyer, contact us at 800-807-2209 for a free consultation. Our attorneys are available to review your claims and prepare a solid case to recover the damages and justice you deserved.