from my mandatory online course

I am required to take an online course on “Sexual Harassment Prevention Training for Supervisors” here at UCSD, and it is full of case studies with ridiculous names like “Manny Mozart” (for the Music Department) and Pierre Rodin (for French). Here was one which seemed quite strange to me:

Several male faculty in the predominately male Department of Human Studies invite a new male faculty member to Hooters for lunch, explaining that this is a bonding event for the “guys” every Friday. Professor Fellowman attends at first, but is uncomfortable with the setting, behavior and discussion during these lunches, and refuses subsequent requests to attend.

The department chair tells Professor Fellowman that he will not do well in the department if he cannot develop relationships with his fellow faculty members. Professor Fellowman is subsequently assigned to teach the largest and most unpopular courses, and is shunned by his male peers. Eventually, he suffers an unfavorable departmental merit review.

Case Study: Does Professor Fellowman have a claim of sexual harassment?

I am having a hard time imagining a department at a UC for which the regular faculty outing would be to Hooters (although the world is full of surprises). According to Oncale v. Sundowner Offshore Services, Inc. (1998) this would constitute sexual harassment (which seems obvious). But would it have hurt to come up with a more likely example?

Advertisements

7 thoughts on “from my mandatory online course

  1. My dad gets mad at me if I don’t enjoy going to Hooters with him and my mom. He took my mom there for Mother’s Day… The only positive spin I could put on that was: “Honor the breasts for they are how the mothers nourish the infants…”

    But I am now picturing a bunch of nerdy EE profs I know in Hooters. Horribly, I think I’d actually rather picture my parents there 😉

  2. So, having just completed my harassment training I had a question:
    If they were gathering to watch football every friday and Dr. Fellowman did not go, would that be harassment?

    What if they were going to a normal restaurant but were having ‘uncomfortable behavior’ ?

    What is exactly the legal phase transition point that allows a claim for SH?

  3. Alex seems REALLY curious about this… 😉 Just kidding.

    Seriously though, I too indeed find some of these things strange. The first question aobut “if they were gathering to watch football and Dr. Fellowman did not go”…is a good one.

    I think there is no phase transition “point”; it’s all rather blurred…

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s