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Posted On: May 22, 2009 by Peter M. LaSorsa

Former Dean Awarded $5 Million in Sexual Harassment Case

A federal jury awarded former dean of students Cheryl Farb $5 million after finding that she was fired in May 2006 in retaliation for filing a formal complaint against the then principal, James Brown. Farb claimed Brown used sexist language in front of female staff and commented on students' bodies. Additionally a witness testified that Brown used a sexist slur and threatened to have Farb fired when he was told she had filed the complaint alleging sexual harassment.

The jury found the Baldwin Board of Education liable for intentionally inflicting emotional distress on Cheryl Farb, the middle school's former dean of students, who had claimed she was a victim of sexual harassment and gender and racial discrimination. The Baldwin Board of Education, which, after an internal investigation, determined that Farb's claims were unsubstantiated, was found guilty of retaliation, for terminating her.

"Farb said she was appalled that Brown is still employed by the district."

Under federal law (Title VII), retaliation occurs when an employee is fired or has his/her terms and conditions of work changed as a result of making a formal complaint of discrimination. Title VII also protects those individuals who testify, assist or participate in an investigation of illegal activity or those who oppose unlawful employment practices.

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