January 30, 2011

In defense of Howard Lipman

An employee has filed a federal complaint against Ohio University claiming she was stripped of paid administrative leave and her son was kicked out of a masters program in retaliation to sexual harassment and bullying claims she made against former OU vice president Howard Lipman.

Molly Taylor-Elkins spent almost two years as Lipman's executive assistant. She says she felt harassed and bullied by Lipman and that on multiple occasions he made inappropriate sexual comments to her and other female employees.

A university investigation conducted last year agreed Lipman created a hostile work environment but couldn't find enough evidence to substantiate the sexual harassment claims.

Elkins says OU then removed her from paid administrative leave and placed her on sick leave - cutting off her income until she returns to campus next month.

Her son received a letter of admittance to OU's sports administration masters program Feb. 9, according to records provided to The Post. But on March 30, about four weeks after Elkins filed complaints against Lipman, her son received another letter from the program - saying his application had been denied.

In July, Elkins filed a discrimination complaint against the university with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

Although the EEOC investigation is still pending, Elkins has demanded $225,000 in damages, free OU tuition for her and two children, and five years paid medical expenses from the university.

"It's not about the money - it's treating people right and being held accountable," she said.

OU says the discrimination claims are unfounded and refused the settlement.

OU President Roderick McDavis and officials in the sports administration program would not comment on Elkins' assertions or the pending EEOC investigation.

Lipman, who left OU in December for a similar, higher-paying position at Florida International University, did not respond to repeated requests for comment.

From: http://thepost.baker.ohiou.edu

Also: http://kittywampus.wordpress.com

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