April 14, 1995 in Idaho

Complaints Against WSU

Eric Sorensen Staff writer
 

Here are some of the claims cited in the complaint against WSU:

Michelle Auslam, a broadcast technician for WSU radio and television services, said a co-worker made unwelcome comments, stared at her, touched her and asked suggestive questions of a sexual nature. She complained to three supervisors and the Center for Human Rights. Two years after his first indiscretion, the coworker was asked to take harassment training. Auslam said she was moved to a lesser job and may be put back with the co-worker after six months.

Katherine Byrne, an associate professor in veterinary microbiology and pathology, said she fielded inappropriate advances - attempts to touch her thigh in a stairwell and hands straying to her rear end - from a co-worker. The department chairman gave the co-worker a verbal reprimand, but the co-worker stepped up denigrating remarks about By- rne, she said, apparently influencing a chief researcher who pulled funding critical to her research.

Leslie Liddle-Stamper, a library technician, said she was subject to hostility, put-downs and controlling behavior of a head librarian at the education library. Male co-workers were not treated the same. The Human Rights Office concluded the librarian did not sexually harass her and closed the case. She was reassigned and had job duties taken away. The head librarian also was reassigned, but continued to get a $5,000 stipend. Liddle-Stamper has since joined a local union and become its president.

Linda Snook, a library supervisor, said she faced similar hostility from the same head librarian. At one point, he physically barred her from leaving his office until she promised to say she was wrong to complain about a hostile work environment, but she still refused. She is slated to be laid off in case of cutbacks.

Susan Lien, an administrative assistant for the College of Sciences, said she lost a promised promotion after detailing in a report how classified women staffers were underpaid compared to men. Over three years, she brought complaints of harassment and a hostile work environment to Human Resource Services, the ombudsman, the Women’s Center, the Affirmative Action Office, the Washington State Employment Advisory Service, a supervisor and the dean. She and other technical services employees went through mediation and then the review of a provost’s oversight committee. After one complaint, her position was slated to be eliminated. She was recently transferred to a secretarial job in the Puyallup extension office.


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