Sexual Harassment complaint filed with EEOC at Binghamton
Binghamton University fundraiser Elizabeth Williams accused Jason Siegel, a senior associate athletic director, and the other Binghamton athletics administrator, Chris Lewis, of egregious acts of sexual misconduct in her sexual harassment complaint filed with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission ("EEOC"). Williams said she decided to come forward when harassing behavior was directed at her and others, including graduate assistants and interns, in front of groups of people.
BU President Lois B. DeFleur said Thursday the university doesn't tolerate harassment of any kind, adding that fostering a respectful and professional environment on campus is among the university's fundamental values, according to the New York Times. According to the complaint, Williams was hired in March 2008 as the university’s regional director of major gifts, and she switched to raising money for the athletic department in January.
She said the harassment began her first day in the department, when she was told by Lewis that she needed to engage a donor at a Binghamton game because he liked “chesty, loudmouthed women.”
One week later, Williams said, she attended a dinner in New York with Siegel, Lewis and major donors from a fraternity. Soon after dinner began, she said, a donor began putting $100 bills on the table and asked her to tell him to stop when there were enough there for her to sleep with him. Williams claims this created a hostile work environment.
In a press release Binghamton University said through its spokesperson, "Binghamton University is committed to creating a safe and supportive environment for all of its employees, we have policies that prohibit harassment and we investigate allegations of such behavior promptly and thoroughly. Since this is an ongoing investigation and in fairness to all parties involved, we must maintain confidentiality."
She said she stepped forward to report the situation a month ago and had since been removed from her office, had the pass code for her voice mail changed and been relieved of nearly all of her responsibilities which she claims is retaliation for reporting the sexual harassment.