Two Women Win Damages in Sexual Discrimination Cases Against Higher Educational Institutions in Massachusetts

The Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination has ordered the University of Massachusetts at Dartmouth to pay $350,000 in damages to a woman who claimed she was denied a promotion due to her race and gender. Dr. LuLu Sun who holds master’s and Ph.D. degrees from the University of Michigan, was denied promotion to full professor on two occasions. The commission heard testimony that Professor Sun was held to a higher standard than other faculty members and that some officials didn’t even bother to read her application for promotion.

The commission also ordered that Dr. Sun be promoted to full professor of English. The chancellor of the university was also ordered to undergo eight hours of training in employment discrimination law.

In another case the Dana Farber Cancer Institute, a principal teaching affiliate of Harvard Medical School, was ordered by a jury to pay $50,000 to Lynn Hlatky who had claimed she was fired in 2005 because of her gender. When she was let go, administrators had told her that her research in radiation oncology did not fit with the goals of her department. But she produced evidence that male colleagues whose research was not in line with departmental goals were not dismissed.

Evidence at the trial showed that in 2007 only six of the 47 full professors at the institute were women and women held none of the endowed chairs. A survey of faculty found that only 35 percent of women faculty said they felt respected at the institute compared to 75 percent of male faculty.

Filed Under: Discrimination


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