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UCSF professor faces second sexual harassment lawsuit

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A former research assistant filed a lawsuit on Monday against UC San Francisco Dr. Stanton Glantz. (Jessica Christian/2017 S.F. Examiner)

A second woman filed a lawsuit Monday against UC San Francisco professor and prominent tobacco control activist Dr. Stanton Glantz, who last year was accused of sexual harassment by a former female researcher at the school.

Former research associate Juliette Jackson is seeking unspecified damages for claims that Glantz, who heads UCSF’s Center for Tobacco Research and Education, created a “sexually-charged” and hostile work environment in which he allegedly “repeatedly leered at Jackson’s and other females breasts,” according to the complaint.

The lawsuit, filed in Alameda County Superior Court, comes on the heels of a sexual harassment lawsuit filed in December by Eunice Neeley, a former doctoral researcher whom Glantz mentored for some two years.

Neeley accused Glantz of staring at her body inappropriately and making sexual remarks in the workplace. She also sued the UCSF Board of Regents, alleging that the university’s inaction on a complaint she filed about the harassment resulted in Glantz retaliating against her.

The most recent lawsuit also alleges that Jackson, who is half Native American, was treated differently than other employees because of her race. Jackson, who worked with Glantz from December 2014 to September 2017, said she was subjected to verbal abuse in confrontations with her former boss and was held to a higher standard than her male and white colleagues.

“The worst came in January 2017, when a post-doctoral colleague of mine witnessed [Glantz] scream and yell, ‘I only hired you because you are Native American,’” Jackson said in a statement shared with the San Francisco Examiner, adding that she believed Glantz had exploited her for her “tribal enrollment status to obtain [National Institutes of Health] funding” for tribal policy research that she had been tasked with performing.

Jackson was hired to work on state reports at the center, but was quickly assigned to do tribal policy research for a NIH grant, then reassigned before she could get involved in many of the proposed Native American policy research projects. The lawsuit alleges Glantz “fraudulently used Jackson’s tribal enrollment status to obtain federal funding for tribal policy research that Jackson was not involved with.”

When Jackson and Neeley allegedly met with Glantz to point out inaccuracies and plagiarism in another researcher’s paper about the Native American community, the lawsuit claims that he was verbally abusive to the women.

Jackson said she reported Glantz to the UCSF Office for the Prevention of Harassment & Discrimination, and later to the UCSF Audits, Academic Affairs, Research Integrity Office and Ethics & Compliance, but alleges a lack of support from UCSF throughout the pursuant investigation.

“They didn’t do anything to protect [Jackson] from the person she made a complaint about,” said Jackson’s attorney Dow Patten.

According to Jackson’s lawsuit, UCSF extended it’s internal investigation four separate times and terminated her by failing to renew her appointment to her position.

Patten said that an internal investigation conducted by UCSF concluded in December validated the sexual harassment allegations, although it did not verify that Jackson was discriminated against based on her race.

A spokesperson for UCSF said the school “cannot comment on litigation,” but added that sexual harassment investigations are usually completed within 60 days and that this “time frame includes some flexibility.”

In an email to the San Francisco Examiner, Glantz pointed to a blog post he authored last December, in which he denied both Neeley and Jackson’s claims. He also stated that Neeley and Jackson had been “collaborating in their efforts” against him “for over a year.”

But Patten said both lawsuits are the result of a systemic culture that tolerates sexual harassment and discrimination at UCSF.

He also represents Shazia Malik, a current nurse at the school, in a lawsuit she filed last year alleging sexual harassment, religious discrimination and retaliation by her superior and co-workers in UCSF’s Women’s Health Center.

“It’s a culture here,” Malik told the Examiner in February. “They make it so uncomfortable and unbearable that people just quit. I refuse to do that.”

The Examiner previously reported that UCSF fired at least nine out of some 26 employees investigated for violations of sexual harassment policies between 2013 and
2016.

Last spring, UCSF also fired its Title IX officer for misconduct. In September, UCSF aligned its policies around investigating sexual harassment with new procedures implemented across the University of California system.

“The turnover over there has been outrageous,” Patten said. “I think there is a structural problem at UCSF where they have turned from holding themselves out [as] progressive [in] affirmative action to instead looking at the problem there as trying to put out the fires.”

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