Judge rules in favor of UNC housekeeper in harassment case
- Administrative Judge Melissa Lassiter ruled Friday that the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill failed to protect housekeeper Maria Isabel Prudencio-Arias from sexual harassment and retaliation, but it didn't violate the state whistleblower act, adding that the university should adjust its reporting procedures so they comply with state and federal requirements.
- Prudencio-Arias testified that she was harassed by Housekeeping Director Bill Burston and her supervisor Dallas Burnette, and that when Burnette was eventually fired, Burston began intimidating her, going so far as to transfer her to a tougher job at the dormitories after she was injured on the job in 2010.
- In her ruling, Lassiter awarded Prudencio-Arias attorney's fees and suggested that the university give her a job "free from retaliation and harassment" that meets her medical restrictions, and Prudencio-Arias' attorney, Al McSurely, says he'll seek an award of $160,000 in damages when the State Personnel Commission makes its final decision in the case.
From the article:
... “(The university) acted arbitrarily and capriciously in applying its policy … in investigating petitioner’s claims of harassment, sexual harassment, discrimination and retaliation, and as such, violated petitioner’s due process rights,” Lassiter wrote in her decision. ...
- NewsObserver.com Read More
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