Over the last several months, the country has witnessed a change in the way people respond to sexual harassment and discrimination. The growing MeToo movement has encouraged victims of sexual assault and harassment to come forward while the Time’s Up movement draws attention to workplace harassment. Not only do these movements help increase public awareness, they also offer support to victims who are willing to confront the people or organizations responsible. Colorado State University (CSU) is now at the center of a lawsuit with ties to Time’s Up.
In the summer of 2012, the CSU Department of Computer Science hired Christina Boucher as an assistant professor. Boucher claims that prior to officially starting her position as a professor she attended an event with her future colleagues and their supervisor, Asa Ben-Hur. During the event, Boucher claims Ben-Hur stared at her inappropriately in a manner that was noticed by others attending the event.
Over the next two years, Boucher stated that she was harassed by fellow professors. After she informed her department chair, Darrell Whitley, of the harassment she was given instructions for properly reporting the harassment. Boucher claims that after filing harassment complaints, she went from being the highest-paid assistant in her department who received constant praise for a “problem” employee.
Once Christina Boucher reported the sexual harassment to the College of Natural Sciences, the dean of CSU, and the school’s Office of Equal Opportunity, she believes she became the victim of retaliatory actions. Instead of receiving praise and assurances that she had a bright future ahead of her with the college, she was constantly criticized. Boucher claims that nothing she did was seen as good enough, and eventually she was forced to resign.
In September of 2015, Boucher filed an official discrimination complaint with the Colorado office of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) accusing the college of retaliation and sexual harassment. On April 19, 2017, Boucher was given a “right to sue” letter allowing her to file a suit against the school. Initially, Boucher’s lawsuit named Colorado State University and three specific professors, but the individuals were dropped from the lawsuit. CSU attempted to have the lawsuit dismissed, but the request was denied, allowing the lawsuit to move forward. The lawsuit is scheduled to be heard in front of a jury in August of 2018, and Boucher believes she will be able to prove that after she reported the multiple incidents of harassment, her colleagues retaliated against her.
Get Legal Advice
Retaliation by employers after reporting harassment or other discriminatory activities is not legal. If you or someone close to you has been targeted after reporting harassment at work, contact the employment attorneys at HKM. Our legal team is able to provide you with the representation you need to resolve your workplace retaliation case in a timely manner. We can help you during every stage of your case and are dedicated to providing you with the legal advice you need to obtain the favorable outcome you deserve. Contact us to schedule an initial consultation at our Denver, Colorado office today.