State College, PA Attorney for Sexual Harassment of Professors

Fighting For Important Causes In State And Federal Courts

Sexual harassment is never acceptable. There is no industry or institution or persons immune to it. There is data suggesting universities are prone to sexual harassment because academia is an extremely hierarchical field. Professors who experience sexual harassment feel powerless to speak up out of concerns for maintaining a position of respect in their field of study. Unequal power relations in the workplace are at the core sexual harassment. Studies show that the solicitation of sex is not the most common form of sexual harassment but rather gender harassment, which involves working conditions when someone in a position of power mistreats or abuses someone in a lesser or lower status. Some psychologists have found that sexual harassment causes Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) because it poses a threat to one’s physical integrity and ability to work efficiently and that there are long-term health consequences in the lives of sexual harassment victims.

If you are a State College PA professor experiencing sexual harassment or if you know a professor suffering in silence due to this conduct, there are laws to protect you. Federal, state and local laws protect State College professors from unwelcome sexual advances or demands, unwanted sexual propositions or promoting a hostile work environment against colleagues on the basis of their gender. The highly accomplished team of attorneys in the Shubin Law Office are known for their experience in handling difficult cases of sexual harassment in the workplace. We are known as relentless fighters for the constitutional rights of our clients. Call (814) 867-3115 to schedule a free consultation.

What Constitutes Sexual Harassment in Pennsylvania

Sexual harassment in the workplace violates federal and state anti-discrimination laws. Sexual harassment consists of unwanted sexual advances or some other unwelcome conduct that can either cause a “tangible personnel action” or a “hostile work environment” on the basis of the victim’s gender. Having a consultation with an experienced constitutional law practitioner can help you determine if what you have experienced meets the criteria for a filing a civil claim on this basis.

Studies show that gender harassment is the most common form of sexual harassment at universities. This occurs when a co-worker is treated in such a way that harassment “knocks them down.” It’s helpful to look at the behavior metaphorically in the ways power can affect the victim. There is no single fact pattern of harassment. But power, threats, and fear are typically at play in most situations.

Peer and Workplace Retaliation After Sexual Abuse at a University

Everyone who works at a university is deemed to be a “mandatory reporter” under the university’s harassment policy in compliance with Title IX. Universities are required to hire a Title IX administrator in charge of handling these complaints.

While the ethos of many colleges is to promote equality and no tolerance of sexual harassment, the reality can be very different. When the harasser is another professor or a high-level administrator, the other professors may be afraid to come forward. Also, retaliation by peers is a common cause of great distress and fear.  Professors often face an enormous backlash from other academics in the university. This repercussion is what happened in the recent case of Dr. Kathleen Treseder. Dr. Treseder recently settled with the University of California over complaints of sexual harassment against fellow professor Francisco Ayala, a world-renowned scientist.  When the accusations surfaced, Prof. Ayala was publicly supported by other colleagues in an open letter published by Science Magazine.

Fear of reporting is proven to be grounded in situations known to occur when people come forward to universities. For example, when famous sleep psychologist James Maas was found responsible of sexually harassing two of his employees, many students and co-workers claimed the actions were a “witch hunt” instigated by a female professor and leading feminist. It’s hard to predict what can happen. However, with the onset of the #metoo movement, there is greater consciousness about the lives of victims of sexual harassment.

In addition, the seasoned team of constitutional lawyers working with Andrew Shubin is familiar with representing university professors and students. They will be prepared to withstand these common yet unwarranted attacks. Attorney Andrew Shubin is known for his courage. He will seek remedies at all levels possible and will not stand for the abuses of influential academics. In his experience perpetrators usually have a history of abusive behavior that has gone unchecked at institutions, and there can be more than one victim of sexual harassment.

Statistics for Sexual Harassment by High-Level Administrators

Studies show victims of sexual harassment rarely come forward out of fear that retribution. There are staggering reports showing that 98% percent of the people who experience sexual harassment will not report it. When a professor is fired in retaliation for reporting sexual harassment, that professor has a strong claim against the university. State college professors who experience this unconstitutional treatment in State College have a high-quality representation available nearby.

A 2017 survey in a popular blog entitled “The Professor Is In” shows that assistant professors and untenured faculty have a much greater risk to be sexually harassed than the tenured counterparts. While this survey doesn’t claim to be scientific, it’s helpful in confirming trends that have been known to exist. Common terms used to identify the sexual harasser were “famous,” “well known,” “mentor.” The respect or reverence shared towards the perpetrator is usually a common trait that causes victims afraid to speak out at the university level.

When the perpetrator holds the key to the career advancements of a professor, then the victims feel it can be impossible to come forward and fight back. Many organizations can be permissive of another’s professor’s habit of harassing other professors with demeaning behavior. A permissive environment is one where no one thinks the conduct can be stopped and this “hostile” environment.

Call State College Attorney for Sexual Harassment of Professors

Victims of sexual harassment don’t have to face unwanted acts alone; patterns of demeaning and disparaging victimization constitute sexual harassment.

If you or someone you know is a professor experiencing sexual harassment in State College PA or a surrounding neighborhood, the accomplished team of lawyers working at the Law Office of Andrew Shubin will guide you and determine what the best course of action is. Call us at (814) 867-3115 to schedule a consultation.

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