N.C. State Loses Sex Harrassment Case
Posted April 15, 2008 3:38 p.m. EDT
Updated April 16, 2008 11:28 a.m. EDT
Raleigh, N.C. — 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.