In the Media

U Rochester Sexual Harassment Lawsuit Settled for $9.4 Million (The Scientist)

U Rochester Sexual Harassment Lawsuit Settled for $9.4 Million
Nine former students and faculty members who sued the institution in 2017 over its handling of sexual harassment claims will contribute a portion of the settlement to those whose careers suffered as a result.

“We consider it a major victory for all of the faculty and students who were harassed,” says plaintiff and developmental neuroscientist Jessica Cantlon, now of Carnegie Mellon University, in remarks to Science. “It’s a significant settlement. I think it’s going to have a really powerful impact on how seriously universities take women who come forward with complaints of sexual harassment. This is something that universities will notice.

“It is very unusual for senior professors to band together with junior faculty and students, as happened in this case, to try to protect students from harassment,” Ann Olivarius, the plaintiff’s chief lawyer, says in the statement. “Our clients have had to leave jobs, research collaborations and a community they loved and move across the country because the University dug in when it should have taken their complaints seriously. We commend UR for improving its policies and turning the page on this very long struggle.”