Friday, December 19, 2008

US Supreme Court will Reconsider Workplace Stalking Case

This hearing will happen in January which is National Stalking Awareness Month.

From the press release:

[...] on January 9, 2009, the U.S. Supreme Court will consider a Petition for Rehearing, asking the Court to review a workplace stalking case, Martin v. Howard Univ. and Alice Gresham Bullock, U.S. Sup. Ct. No. 08-204. The lower courts held that a female law professor had no legal recourse against Howard University for refusing to renew her contract after she asked the Law School administration to use the University’s own Campus Security procedures to protect her and other women from a serial campus stalker.

As a law professor at Howard University, Dawn Martin was stalked by a delusional, homeless, serial stalker of African-American female professors. The stalker was searching for the physical embodiment of his "fantasy," or ideal "wife" --modeled after a fictional female character, Geneva Crenshaw, in a book, And We are not Saved, written by the renowned Professor Derrick Bell. Instead of following its own security procedures to ban the stalker from campus, Howard responded to Prof. Martin’s requests for protection by refusing to renew her teaching contract. Prof. Martin sued Howard for sexual harassment/hostile work environment and retaliation for reporting sexual harassment, in violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex/gender, as well as race, color, ethnic origin and religion. Martin is the first to present the issue of "gender profiling" or "working while female" in the employment context.

Howard University had argued that stalking by this man was stalking not sexual harassment but stalking is defined as a pattern of harassment.

For more on this case, go to Ms. Martin's website on this case.

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posted by Marcella Chester @ 8:24 AM   1 comments links to this post

1 Comments:

At February 13, 2009 4:42 PM, Anonymous Dawn V. Martin said...

PRESS RELEASE:

Law Offices of Dawn V. Martin, LLC e-mail: dvmartinlaw@yahoo.com

(202) 408-7040; (703) 642-0207 website: www.dvmartinlaw.com



Watch TV Documentary on Federal Case Holding that a Woman can be Fired for being Stalked by a Stranger in her Workplace, or “Working while Female”



– Martin v. and Alice Gresham Supreme Court No. 08-204. WATCH a new television documentary, featuring esteemed leaders such as Kim Gandy (President of NOW), renowned civil rights Professor Derrick Bell and a former Howard University Security Officer, Dr. Amos Sirleaf, who all strongly support former Howard Law School Professor, Dawn Martin in her efforts to protect stalking victims against employer retaliation. Insider Exclusive website, with producer/host Steve Murphy, at http://insiderexclusive.com/martin.htm (For clearest digital viewing, download Apple quicktime 7.6 version.) Ms. Martin has also been featured on Sky Radio as part of its series on “Salute to Women in Leadership,” noted in Time Magazine and numerous radio shows.


Martin is the first case to present the issue of "gender profiling" in the employment context -- or the "working while female" factor. The National Organization for Women (NOW) and the National Association of Women Lawyers (NAWL), joined by additional women’s and victims’ advocacy groups, filed an Amicus Brief in this case, stressing the need to protect stalking victims from employer retaliation. Prof. Dawn Martin was stalked taught at by a delusional, homeless, serial stalker of African-American female professors, Leonard Harrison. was searching for the physical embodiment of his "fantasy" wife -- a fictional female character in a book, written by the renowned civil rights Professor, Derrick Bell. Instead of following its own security procedures to ban from campus, Howard responded to Prof. Martin’s requests for protection by refusing to renew her teaching contract. She sued Howard, under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits discrimination and harassment, on the basis of sex/gender. Prof. Martin alleged that Howard permitted the stalker to harass her on the basis of her gender in her workplace. 78% of stalking victims are women. 54% of female murder victims reported their stalkers to the police before being killed by them. Prof. Martin further alleged that Howard retaliated against her by refusing to renew her teaching contract because she asked for protection from on campus.



In 1999, the federal district court set precedent in Martin, adopting the EEOC Regulation 29 CFR 1604.11(e), holding that an employer can be held liable for the sexual harassment of an employee, by a non-employee, if the employer knew or should have known of the harassment and failed to take reasonable steps to stop it. In 2006, after a trial, the jury agreed with Prof. Martin that ’s harassment did create a “hostile work environment” for her and that that Howard did not take reasonable steps to end it; yet, the jury verdict was for Howard. With insufficient legal instruction from the Court, the confused jurors found that the harassment was not based on sex; Prof. Martin’s complaints were not therefore not “protected activity” under Title VII. The Supreme Court initially declined to review Martin, but nine days later, it decided Crawford v . Crawford clarified that “protected activity” under Title VII is a question of law for the Court, not a factual question for a jury. On February 9, 2009, therefore, Ms. Martin filed a motion to supplement her Petition for Rehearing, to include the law set by Crawford. Under Crawford, the jury should never have been required to decide this legal question. The Supreme Court has never addressed the issue of workplace stalking. The application of “gender profiling” to sexual harassment cases will also set precedent for racial, ethnic, religious groups in profiling harassment cases under Title VII and other EEO statutes. For more details and links to other cites discussing the case, see www.dvmartinlaw.com/MartinvHowardU.

 

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