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Sexual Harassment Claims at University of Montana Law School Result in Leadership Change

— January 10, 2022

A fourth female law student told the Daily Montanan she did not report a rape because she learned of the difficulties other students faced.

The dean and associate dean of students at the University of Montana’s School of Law are stepping down from their leadership positions after their mishandling on reporting allegations of sexual misconduct.  Three women from the University of Montana Alexander Blewett III School of Law say the dean and associate dean of students deterred them from taking allegations of sexual harassment and assault to the Office of Equal Opportunity and Title IX, which handles sexual misconduct on campus. A fourth female law student told the Daily Montanan she did not report a rape because she learned of the difficulties other students faced. There are at least 13 current and former law school students who reported that leadership did not represent the female students when they complained of sexual misconduct and assault.  

Additionally the University is being sued for alleged gender discrimination that violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 claiming that officials at the school discriminated against female employees for unequal treatment compared to their male counterparts.  Victims of sexual harassment should immediately contact a sexual harassment attorney in Montana for guidance on necessary actions to correct the situation and possibly gain access to necessary damage compensation. Title VII applies to employers with 15 or more employees, including state and local governments. If there is some reason that a victim is not protected under Title VII language, a civil rights, personal injury, or employment law attorney  in Montana may be able to offer another means toward compensation when sexual harassment causes harm and damage to an employee.  

Address and report sexual misconduct

Image of the EEOC seal
Seal of the EEOC; image courtesy of U.S. Government via Wikimedia Commons,

According to an EEOC task force report, victims of sex-based harassment often deny, or tone down an egregious situation to avoid, or ignore the negative behavior.  Talk to sexual harassment attorneys regarding concerns that the conduct by a person who is in a position of authority may be controlling an individual’s work, or school activities.   The victim should directly inform the harasser that their conduct is unwelcome and insist that it stops if they are not afraid. Educational institutional policies should be referenced and a victim should use any complaint mechanism, or grievance system available. A positive settlement award may be the result of a strong case presented by experienced legal counsel, and in some cases, criminal charges may be necessary.

Employer awareness

A sexual harassment law firm can explain tips toward prevention, as it is the best tool to eliminate sexual harassment in learning institutions. School employers are encouraged to take steps necessary to prevent sexual harassment from occurring. They should clearly communicate to employees that sexual harassment will not be tolerated. They can do so by providing sexual harassment training to their employees and by establishing an effective complaint, or grievance process and taking immediate and appropriate action when an employee, or student complains. Sexual harassment lawyers can assist human resource departments as they develop and maintain standard operating work policies to support methods that deter sexual harassment in the workplace.  


Supervisors and other responsible department personnel who observe, are informed of, or reasonably suspect sexual harassment claims might be filed, should immediately report such incidents and initiate prompt investigation. Supervisors should take effective measures to ensure no further apparent, or alleged harassment of the victim occurs, pending completion of an EEOC investigation, or other legal action. Employers should attempt to maintain privacy of the alleged victim and harasser while a complaint is being investigated.  Necessary steps should also be taken to ensure that the employee victim is protected from retaliation for reporting sexual harassment in compliance with federal laws.  

Hire a lawyer

If you, or someone you know is a victim of sexual harassment, or related sexual assault, seek out a professional attorney for guidance toward legal actions that will remedy the situation.


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