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Former Columbia Professor Awarded $1.25 Million

July 30, 2018
 
 

A federal jury on Friday awarded Enrichetta Ravina, a former assistant professor of business at Columbia University, $1.25 million. A day earlier, jurors found that Geert Bekaert, a professor of business at Columbia and Ravina’s former mentor, retaliated against her after she accused him of sexual harassment. Ravina, who was originally seeking more than $20 million, alleged gender-based discrimination and retaliation, saying she was denied tenure in 2016 in part because Bekaert slowed down her research when she didn’t accept his advances. She also said he sent negative emails about her to colleagues in their field, referring to her as "insane" and more, damaging her reputation. The discrimination claim was rejected, but regarding retaliation, the jury said Columbia and Bekaert are liable for $750,000 in compensatory damages and Bekaert is liable for $500,000 in punitive damages. Columbia is liable for retaliation committed by its employees by law.

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