A dentistry professor has sued the University of California for allegedly retaliating against him after he testified against a senior associate dean.
Kang Eric Ting says he was removed from his post as the chair of the Section of Orthodontics following his testimony. The professor also says he experienced harassment and discrimination upon asking for a leave of absence to care for his ailing father.
The unfair treatment allegedly began when Ting's mentor and student, Justine Tanjaya, filed a sexual harassment claim against Sotirios Tetradis, the senior associate dean. She sued the man and the University of California in federal court in 2019. In the lawsuit, Tanjaya revealed that Tetradis encouraged her to make false sexual harassment allegations against Ting. Though she declined to do so, Tetradis made the allegations on her behalf.
These false allegations delayed Ting's leave of absence by six weeks. He suffered gastrointestinal issues, insomnia, depression, anxiety, and a stomach ulcer from the stress. Ting says the school failed to accommodate his medical leave and questioned his need to do so.
Ultimately, he was removed from his position as chair of the Section of Orthodontics.
The Impact of Title IX Testimony
Title IX prohibits sexual harassment and sexual violence in schools and universities. When an institution fails to protect its students or follow up on allegations, victims of sexual abuse and harassment may file a Title IX lawsuit. The testimony provided in such cases is vital – witnesses can make or break a case.
While we might expect professors, deans, and other academics to look out for the best interests of their students, some professionals take advantage of their status. In those situations, mentors and trusted teachers become even more important. Trustworthy professors should be held up as exemplary, not retaliated against professionally.
How Workplace Retaliation Can Ruin a Career
Academics spend their entire careers building their reputations. It can take decades of hard work, research, and publishing to achieve true stability at a school like the University of California. Upset the wrong colleague, however, and a stellar reputation can be dashed in a moment.
Unfortunately, retaliation is an all too common byproduct of levying sexual harassment allegations. It's the most frequently filed charge of discrimination with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). Retaliation is also linked with ongoing workplace harassment. It's often not enough for workplace bullies to levy false claims about a colleague – they go on to make their professional lives as untenable as possible. Legal action is sometimes the only tool a person has to put a stop to this behavior.
These rumors can follow a person around for the rest of their career. If you're being retaliated against for your testimony following a Title IX claim, you need to speak with an experienced legal advisor as soon as possible. Attorney Joseph Lento has handled similar claims at schools all around the country. Protect your professional reputation and future by calling 888-555-3686 today.