U.S. Capital

Governor Brown Needs a Reality Check About Sexual Harassment at Colleges

Dec 1, 2015

Sacramento, CA (Law Firm Newswire) December 1, 2015 – Sexual harassment/assault in the workplace or a college milieu is illegal. Recently, Governor Jerry Brown vetoed a California bill that would have mandated a minimum two-year suspension for students found guilty of sexual assault on college campuses, saying instead that such matters should be addressed not by the government but by the campus disciplinary process.

It has taken years for the allegations of sexual harassment and assault victims on campuses across the nation to finally be heard in a way that has garnered enough attention to make changes to university and college policies regarding such violations. In California, there was a firestorm of media attention focused on local colleges and universities for not appropriately dealing with sexual assault/harassment cases. Such matters were swiftly swept under the carpet, and often the perpetrator remained on campus where a victim could see them daily.

“A completely unacceptable state of affairs,” said respected sexual harassment attorney Deborah Barron. “No one has the right to force themselves on an unwilling individual who is not interested in his or her advances. Forcing someone into having sex without their consent is never acceptable.”

Other mandates proposed by the bill included punishments such as the loss of financial aid and scholarships and possible expulsion. California Assemblyman Das Williams provided information that indicated one in five females is a victim of sexual assault, and less than five percent report the violation to police.

“It looked like the bill might make it, until the Governor vetoed it, suggesting educational institutions are in a far better position to figure out appropriate punishment, and the bill could stifle them from using better judgment in dealing with such matters,” said Barron. “But if these institutions had better judgement to deal with such inflammatory issues, the situation likely would not have blown up in the first place.”

Giving only universities and colleges the power to decide what disciplinary measures are appropriate to deal with sexual harassment/assault is like having the fox guard the hen house. They blew it the first time; why give them a second chance to do it again?

All educational institutions receiving federal funding must comply with Title IX of the Educational Amendments of 1972, which prohibits schools from discriminating on the basis of sex. Under such terms, sexual harassment and assault fall under a form of sexual discrimination that schools are legally bound to address through adopting procedures that respond to complaints filed by students. Institutions in violation of Title IX may face fines or the federal government may withhold federal funds.

In 2014, there were 55 educational institutions under investigation for violating Title IX. Now there are more than 140. “It is time for a reality check. If the government does not do something to force colleges to deal with sexual harassment/assault, the problem will continue to grow. The numbers speak for themselves,” Barron said.

Learn more at http://www.lawbarron.com/

Barron Law Corporation
Riverbank Marina
1387 Garden Hwy, Suite 100
Sacramento, CA 95833
Toll Free: 800-LAW [529]5908
Phone: 916-486-1712

San Francisco Office

1750 Montgomery St., Suite 100
San Francisco, CA 94133
Toll Free: 800-LAW[529]5908





View Larger Map

  • SLU MD Graduate Denied Promised Promotion, Dismissed for Reporting Racism at Jefferson Barracks VA
    This case bears witness to alleged racism, discrimination, sexual harassment and fraudulent administrative actions that prompted St. Louis University MD graduate, Dr. Jane Doe, to blow the whistle and reveal the full extent of the story. Doe filed a racism/sexual harassment/Veterans Affairs (VA) government fraud complaint with the Missouri U.S. Equal Employment Opportunities Commission (EEOC) […]
  • Sexual harassment allegations led to resignation of astronomer Geoff Marcy
    Apparently, world-renowned astronomer Geoff Marcy has more than just a solid track record for finding exo-planets. He has a documented, but deliberately squelched track record for sexual harassment while working at two universities in California: University of California, Berkeley, and San Francisco State University (SFSU). And while it appears that university officials knew about his […]
  • Uber says drivers are independent contractors, drivers say they are employees
    More and more employees in California are taking a hard look at the nature of their employment contracts. Are they being denied benefits? Is their employer flaunting the law and not paying them formeal breaks or allowing rest time? Are they wrongly classified as independent contractors when in reality they are employees? An Uber company […]