When an employee turns out to be sleazy

Scandals in the science world happen, but they tend to revolve around doctored data and sloppy research, not sexual harassment. But right now, scientists are in the news–not for groundbreaking research but for some sleazy goings-on.

The first is the case of Dr. Danielle Lee, a biologist who blogs at Scientific American under the banner “The Urban Scientist.” She was contacted about writing for another publication. She asked a very sensible question–does this writing job pay? The answer? No. She turned it down. That should be the end of the story, right?

But it’s not. The editor from Biology Online, named Ofek, responded, “Because we don’t pay for blog entries? Are you an urban scientist or an urban whore?” Dr. Lee, quite rightly, wrote about this and published the email exchange. (That in itself caused a kerfuffle and probably involved some phone calls to lawyers.)

To keep reading click here: When an employee turns out to be sleazy

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6 thoughts on “When an employee turns out to be sleazy

  1. Wouldn’t all this kinda be legal now though under Vance v. Ball State University? Maybe not so much harassing people outside the company (I think the company would fear their reputation over this), but all the gross things these individuals said and did would be OK now as long as they just did it to a co-worker, correct?

    1. Only as long as management doesn’t know about it. Once they are aware, then they are liable if they don’t act.

      Irrelevant to these two situations, as they immediatey fired the one guy and the second resigned.

      1. The company knew about if for a year before the second individual resigned. I would guess this only happened though because his name was made public. It doesn’t seem they intended to take any meaningful action prior. I assume with the new law that’s pretty much how things will go now.

        1. They did act when the first incident came forward. What was done, precisely, I don’t know, but the victim was “satisfied” by what the company did.

          Companies aren’t required to fire people who commit sexual harassment. They can, of course but they don’t have to. The law allows them to use their own judgment. It’s only required that they do act and if the problem continues to act more strongly.

          Until the other women came forward, no one in management knew that the first woman wasn’t his only victim.

          You seem to be really concerned about this. Is something bothering you at your workplace? Donna Ballman has great posts on how to make a formal complaint.

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