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N.C. State Loses Sex Harrassment Case

Posted April 15, 2008
Updated April 16, 2008

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— The state Court of Appeals ruled Tuesday that North Carolina State University should have investigated sexual harassment allegations against a former professor.

The decision upheld $150,000 awards by the state Industrial Commission to former students Evalyn Gonzalez and Kathy Wood, who said former engineering professor Shuaib Ahmad sexually harassed them in the mid-1990s.

The appellate judges said N.C. State was aware of similar allegations against Ahmad dating to the late 1980s but never investigated them. The university argued that it couldn't investigate the claims since no one ever filed a formal complaint against Ahmad.

"NCSU cannot, by turning a blind eye to reported misdeeds, hope to escape liability based on subsequent victims' failures to report later bad behavior," Appellate Judge Rick Elmore wrote in the unanimous decision.

19 Comments

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  • TheAdmiral Apr 17, 2008

    HR does not care. They are more interested in how much dollar amount each person is worth. You are a number, and a piece of paper they can toss away.

  • MarcoPolo Apr 16, 2008

    Wow - was this story buried...not meant to see the light of day.

    HR is there to protect the liability of the company, not the employees. Employees with employee relations issues will be screwed by HR if they tangle with mgmt. If mgmt (professors) does something stupid, HR teams with legal to get off the hook.

    From what little info is provided, it seems that the NCSU blew off the concerns of the students in hopes that it would go away. This is the result of their perseverence.

    NCSU should be ashamed and HR should be embarrassed of not doing the right thing when it happenend 15 years. That's an awful lot of time to wait for justice.

    The end result is just a $150K payout. The HR director probably makes that in a year. HR did it's job and this story was deep-sixed. NCSU HR is not to be trusted.

  • flipper59 Apr 16, 2008

    "What a joke. Are you that paranoid? HR usually bends over backwards to make sure they don't violate the employees rights. Sounds like you are a screw up at work and looking for someone other than yourself to blame..."

    It wouldn't be a joke if something terrible happened to your Wife where She works then watch the so called policy fail Her.
    Depends on who is running the Show i suppose. You'd be suprised to know what goes on in some Colleges!!

  • VT1994Hokie Apr 16, 2008

    These two students were not paid enough for this to end. It took long enough for sure. Here we are again--another black eye for all of us; taxpayers. I am glad that NCSU has finally settled.

  • Through a glass darkly Apr 16, 2008

    "NCSU will probably raise the employee parking rates,again, to pay this fine." That State of North Carolina (meaning all of us) will pay this settlement.

  • Gerbil Herder Apr 16, 2008

    Why actually those rates will be going up...funny that the news about both items came out about the same time.

  • jzweather Apr 16, 2008

    NCSU will probably raise the employee parking rates,again, to pay this fine

  • Mad Baumer Apr 16, 2008

    "Do not trust HR"

    What a joke. Are you that paranoid? HR usually bends over backwards to make sure they don't violate the employees rights. Sounds like you are a screw up at work and looking for someone other than yourself to blame...

  • enigma1469 Apr 16, 2008

    The student probally did not earn her A, like all of the students before her.

  • Just Once Apr 16, 2008

    Sounds like they got off easy - only 150K?? NCSU - Act now.

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