Following up on my previous posts (links below): Sacramento Bee, UC Worker Felt ‘Mobilizing Anger.’ Then She Won $1.7 Million in a Sexual Harassment Case:
On a gray January morning in Oakland, Tyann Sorrell glides into her attorney’s 13th-floor offices overlooking Lake Merritt. She is greeted by hugs, one after another, and warm words.
Then she gets down to business: Her $1.7 million sexual harassment settlement with the University of California.
At 43, Sorrell is a reluctant hero of the “Me Too” movement, a soft-spoken and poised mother of five who challenged one of UC’s most hallowed institutions, the UC Berkeley School of Law, and the new leader it hired in 2014.
As an executive assistant at the law school, joining in 2012, Sorrell described her initial years as positive and her relationship with then-Dean Christopher Edley as “a wonderful bond.” Everything changed in mid-2014, she said, with the arrival of Sujit Choudhry, a constitutional law scholar who replaced Edley and became Sorrell’s new superior.
An internal investigation found that Choudhry had violated university policies with his “unwelcome” kissing, hugging and touching of Sorrell, according to the report, but he was not placed on leave. As discipline, he was given a temporary 10 percent pay cut from his $472,917 annual salary and required to write an apology letter to her. ...
Under the settlement reached last year with Sorrell, the UC Regents denied her claims and allegations. However, UC President Janet Napolitano has announced a series of new measures to improve the university's handling of such cases.
Besides the $1.7 million settlement, Choudhry struck a separate agreement in which he will pay $50,000 to Sorrell's attorneys and $50,000 to charities of her choice that deal with sexual harassment and violence. He will voluntarily resign in May as part of his own agreement with the regents.
Prior TaxProf Blog coverage:
- UC-Berkeley Law School Dean Resigns After Being Sued For Sexual Harassment (Mar. 10, 2016)
- Alumni Call For Firing Former UC-Berkeley Law School Dean From His Tenured Faculty Position In Wake Of Sexual Harassment Complaint (Mar. 14, 2016)
- Former UC-Berkeley Dean Obtained Appointment Of Provost To Law School Faculty While Provost Was Investigating Sexual Harassment Claim Against Him (Mar. 20, 2016)
- Melissa Murray Named Interim Dean Of UC-Berkeley Law School In Wake Of Former Dean's Resignation In Sexual Harassment Scandal (Mar. 23, 2016)
- UC-Berkeley Sex Harassment Scandal Exposes 'Double Standard' Over Professor Protections (Apr. 12, 2016)
- UC-Berkeley Provost Resigns Amid Controversy Over His Handling Of Sexual Harassment Complaint Against Law School Dean (Apr. 17, 2016)
- Former UC-Berkeley Law School Dean Files Supplement To Grievance Over Attempt To Revoke His Tenure In Wake Of Sexual Harassment Complaint (Aug. 4, 2016)
- Despite UC President Napolitano’s Previous Ban, Former UC-Berkeley Law Dean Still On Campus (Sept. 5, 2016)
- Students, Alleged Victim Of Sexual Harassment By Former UC-Berkeley Law School Dean Protest His Return To Campus (Sept. 8, 2016)
- UC-Berkeley Law School Dean's Return Stirs Campus Outrage (Sept. 11, 2016)
- Former Law School Dean Accused Of Sexual Harassment Sues UC-Berkeley For Racial Discrimination (Sept. 15, 2016)
- Hills: UC-Berkeley Is Sacrificing Due Process In Re-Litigating The Sexual Harassment Allegations Against Former Dean Sujit Choudhry To Appease An Angry Mob (Sept. 30, 2016)
- The University Of California’s Extraordinary Legal Battle With Ex-Berkeley Law School Dean (Oct. 13, 2016)
- Former Law School Dean Accused Of Sexual Harassment Drops Racial Discrimination Lawsuit Against UC-Berkeley (Nov. 17, 2016)
- UC-Berkeley, Former Law School Dean Settle All Litigation Over Alleged Sexual Harassment; Sujit Choudhry Agrees To Pay $100,000, Resign From Tenured Faculty In Spring 2018 (Apr. 15, 2017)