Four UCLA employees sue school, alleging workplace sexual harassment
Four UCLA employees have filed lawsuits against UCLA and the UC Board of Regents, accusing their workplace supervisor of sexual harassment and the university of failing to properly handle abuse complaints.
Plaintiffs Jackie Rodriguez, Amber Rose Palega, Krystal Eda and Mayra Miguel allege supervisor Martha Mansoor, who is also named in the suit, regularly slapped their buttocks, caressed their thighs and made sexual comments about their bodies.
The plaintiffs work in the university’s radiology scheduling department.
The harassment allegedly started in early 2016 and ended in 2017, according to the lawsuits, which were filed Wednesday in Los Angeles Superior Court. Mansoor was terminated by the school in July 2017 after the women filed complaints earlier that year, the lawsuits state.
One of the women informed another supervisor in December 2016 about the harassment, but Mansoor remained in her job, said attorney Darren Richie, who is representing all four women.
The plaintiffs “feel like their complaints were pushed under the rug” by the school, Richie said, in part because the allegations involved “female-on-female” harassment.
UCLA issued a statement Sunday, saying “these allegations are inconsistent with the standards of conduct expected of UCLA staff, faculty and students and we take them very seriously.” The school encouraged members of the campus community to come forward with any concerns they might have about the workplace environment.
“We are closely reviewing the details of the lawsuit and intend to respond appropriately,” the statement said.
The Times was unable to reach Mansoor.
Richie said the women faced retaliation from other supervisors after they filed complaints against Mansoor. The retaliatory behavior included making the women do more work and not allowing them to take time off to see their attorney, Richie said.
The lawsuits also allege that the school’s process for filing a claim is confusing and ineffective. Even though four women made reports about harassment, the school listed only one of the women as a complainant, while the other three were named as witnesses, Richie said.
The women are suing for harassment; failure to prevent harassment, discrimination and retaliation; intentional infliction of emotional distress; and negligent infliction of emotional distress.
Richie said the four plaintiffs are seeking more than $120 million in damages.
5:15 p.m. Sunday: This article was updated with a statement issued by UCLA.
This article was originally published Saturday at 5:05 p.m.
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