Monday, October 15, 2012

Former Employee Files Retaliation Suit Against Yale

A former security education coordinator has reportedly filed a lawsuit against Yale University, claiming that her position was terminated in retaliation for blowing the whistle internally on Yale's under-reporting of campus sexual assault.  Plaintiff Susan Burhans alleges that over a 10-year period, she observed that Yale was not devoting adequate resources to address the campus climate of sexual violence.  When she brought the issue to the attention of University administrators, she was ignored or criticized.  And when she allegedly notified a university vice president that Yale was underreporting cases of sexual misconduct, the administration blocked Burhans's new programs to promote a safe environment in compliance with Title IX.

Aspects of Burhans's complaint seem particularly plausible in light of the fact that Yale has since entered into a voluntary agreement with OCR to fix many of the problems Burhans allegedly complained about, including the underreporting. 

A university spokesperson is quoted as denying the charges of retaliation and vowing to vigorously defend the lawsuit.