A Well-Known Ethical Leader disregards his Practices

Connecticut ­– Thomas Pogge is a prominent ethics professor at Yale University. Pogge is primarily known for his education deriving from the late great philosopher, John Rawl. Pogge has also published in top academic journals and operated “anti-poverty and health initiatives.” Individuals have also tuned into his TED Talks to listen to him speak. Pogge successfully teaches endless ethical practices and values to his students, but allegedly failed to personally abide by them.

Although Pogge is full of wisdom and knowledge regarding ethics and global justice to help the poor in developing countries, it has come to the attention of his followers and the public that Pogge may have abused his power to his personal advantage. The abuse of power involved allegedly targeting international students for “sexual relationships” who were unaware of the laws in the U.S. for sexual harassment.
A past victim alleging discrimination of Title IX filed a federal and civil rights complaint against the university. Title IX protects individuals in academic institutions that are receiving federal funding from discrimination. Reports were consistently filed against Pogge, and allegedly misplaced instead of transferred to the EEOC (Equal Employment Commission) for a violation of the Civil Right Act 1964 review.

The sexual harassment allegations brought against Pogge include claims from 1990 to 2015. Yale allegedly compensated Fernanda Lopez Aguilar, a former student, with $2,000 to keep quiet after she made a complaint in 2010 about Pogge sexually harassing her. They also required her to sign an agreement to prevent any upcoming complaints or lawsuits against Pogge for sexual harassment. As the years passed, various sexual harassment complaints referring to inappropriate behavior by Pogge continued to reach the administration of Yale University, and the administration decided not to open an investigation on behalf of the students. According to the administrative staff, they did not have the “jurisdiction” to perform the task.

Lopez Aguilar explains her Sexual Harassment Experience

It all started her junior year when Aguilar took a class with Pogge. She asked him to “supervise her thesis.” The academic relationship between Aguilar and Pogge grew stronger as the two worked closely together for the advancement of Aguilar’s future. Pogge ran an influential Global Injustice Program. He proposed a fellowship offer to Aguilar to join his program. He later requested Aguilar to join him at a conference in Chile. Aguilar quickly noticed that Pogge booked one room for the two of them to share during their time in Chile.
Aguilar said Pogge made a sexual advance at her in the hotel room. She said she was studying at a desk, then Pogge “slid in between the back of the chair and her body.” Aguilar claims she felt an erection on the dorsal region of her back and Pogge “groped her legs and breast.” She declined his advance, which harmed her academic and professional growth considering he allegedly retaliated against her by revoking her fellowship with the Global Justice Program, removing all documentation proving Aguilar was a fellow in the program, and expressing a decrease in interest in Aguilar’s future endeavors.

Prior to the program, Aguilar allowed Pogge to stay with her and her boyfriend in their apartment located in Miami It’s extremely inappropriate for any faculty or staff member to impose on a student’s personal life. In Aguilar’s defense, Pogge possessed a great deal of power and influence over the direction of Aguilar’s future. Some times individuals make decisions that reflect the greater good of a personal goal, as opposed to their sanity. If only Aguilar understood sexual harassment and the signs of the sordid situation headed her way, she might have selected a different approach in terms her openness with Pogge.

Yale University’s Role in the Workplace Sexual Harassment

Yale’s method to penalizing those who violate the university’s ethical standards plays a key role in eradicating workplace sexual harassment. Yale University refused to identify Pogge’s workplace misconduct as sexual harassment. The university did find Pogge at fault for failing to “uphold the standards of ethical behavior.” Individuals like Aguilar who were affected by Pogge’s alleged unethical actions, continue to work towards convincing the Department of Education and the university to reopen an investigation in order to put an end to Pogge’s actions.
Pogge denies Aguilar’s complaints and strives to clear his name of the alleged false accusations.

The Ivy League university carries an excellent reputation for education. The university also promotes an ethical institution for the students, faculty, and the community. However, their actions are telling a different story.
Pogge’s professional life appears to be an asset to the university, which explains the extensive measures Yale has gone to clear Pogge’s name for each sexual harassment complaint brought against the famous ethicist and philosopher. The actions that the administration has taken to favor Pogge in this sexual harassment battle is causing them to neglect the students’ concerns, and it’s having a negative effect on their students. Without the students, there wouldn’t be a Yale University.

It is highly encouraged that all academic institutions, especially those that promote ethics in their communities, keep the community safe and free from sexual harassment. If you have suffered sexual harassment, retaliation, or discrimination in an academic establishment in New York City, Miami, New Jersey, or Philadelphia, contact our sexual harassment lawyers at the Derek Smith Law Group, PLLC. Our sexual harassment lawyers are remarkably knowledgeable and resourceful. They are willing to provide answers to the questions you have, and present outstanding legal representation for your sexual harassment case.

If you feel you have been the victim of workplace sexual harassment in New York City, Miami, New Jersey or Philadelphia or if your employment rights have been violated, call us at 800-807-2209 for a free consultation.