Cuesta College employees sue over alleged sexual harassment
February 9, 2012
Four women filed suit in December against a Cuesta College faculty chair, the college and several campus officials claiming ongoing sexual harassment and the college’s failure to respond to complaints. [Tribune]
Three claimants contend Don Norton, Cuesta’s division chair of Human Development, made inappropriate sexual comments, attempted unwanted massages, became angry when one of the claimants refused to share a hotel room with him at a conference and made insults regarding religious believes. The fourth claims she was retaliated against for her support of the other three women.
Former instructor Margaret Perez-Sesser and current teachers Jan Gillette, Claudia Harmon Worthen and Marilyn Rossa said school officials failed to “provide a workplace free from unlawful discrimination.”
Cuesta President Gil Stork told the Tribune that “the campus has no comment on personnel issues.”
Gillette said she complained to five Cuesta deans in an effort to stop the harassment, but no one took action against Norton.
“(Norton) engaged in a continuous pattern of discrimination and harassment of (Gillette) on the basis of sex, religion and age,” the lawsuit states.
Gillette says Norton retaliated against her by getting others to manipulate her schedule and make false claims against her.
The four plaintiffs are seeking unspecified compensation, medical expenses and attorneys’ fees.