Sacramento, CA (Law Firm Newswire) February 12, 2014 — Jeffrey Sharp filed a sexual harassment lawsuit against the son of the California State University president. Sharp’s case also alleged retaliation.
“This is an emotionally charged case,” indicates Deborah Barron, a Sacramento sexual harassment attorney, familiar with the details of the case. “The man at the center of the controversy, Alexander Gonzalez Jr., is the son of the president of California State University, who allegedly sexually harassed Sharp when they worked together raising money for the institution.” In response to the statement of claim, the University denied the allegations and suggested that Sharp did not follow proper University protocol for filing complaints.
According to the details in the statement of claim filed by Sharp, the harassment allegedly started in 2008 when he began working in the fundraising office. Sharp complained to the University human resources department, co-workers and supervisors about the abuse, but the abuse did not stop. The plaintiff tried to keep his working relationship with his boss, Gonzalez Jr., on an even keel at work, but the man apparently indicated to Sharp that he was in love with him. Not interested in having a relationship with Gonzalez, the plaintiff said he did not want to be involved with him. The harassment did not stop at that point.
Defense attorneys are suggesting that Sharp and Gonzalez had a collegial relationship. “Which makes sense if you are working with someone closely, your relationship does tend to become collegial, which does not imply Sharp was interested in engaging in relations with Mr. Gonzalez,” points out Barron.
According to the results of a University launched investigation into this matter, there was no evidence to support sexual harassment or retaliation claims. However, the plaintiff’s lawyer suggests the results of the investigation were skewed in deference to the president of the University and likely the son. Furthermore, since the plaintiff filed a complaint about Gonzalez, he was demoted, denied promotions, did not receive raises, suffered mental anguish, embarrassment and incurred substantial medical expenses dealing with the situation.
“This case is likely to go to trial in late 2014, unless there is a settlement offer, and at that time, it will be up to the court to decide if there is enough probative evidence to support Sharp’s claims of sexual harassment and retaliation. If you are facing a similar situation, you need to discuss your position with an experienced sexual harassment attorney. Find out what your rights are. They exist to protect you,” states Barron.
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