HR Strange But True!
April 08, 2005

Last week, we reported the start of a trial on whether Harvard University discriminated against an assistant librarian. She claimed to have been repeatedly bypassed for promotion not only because she was black, but also because she was perceived as just a ''pretty girl" who dressed too provocatively.

On Tuesday, a federal court jury in Boston rejected the discrimination claims of the librarian, Desiree Goodwin.

Goodwin, a Cornell University graduate who has two master's degrees, had alleged that race and gender discrimination were the reasons she was bypassed for 16 promotions and kept in the same job since being hired by Harvard in 1994. She testified that a supervisor told her in December 2001 that she'd never get another job at Harvard because others viewed her as a ''pretty girl" who dressed in sexy outfits, including tight pants and low-cut blouses.

The all-white jury of five men and one woman deliberated for about half a day to reach its verdict, according to the Boston Globe.

''At least I stood up for myself," Goodwin said afterward..

Harvard reacted by issuing a statement saying that the jury's verdict ''supports what we have said from the beginning, that racial and gender discrimination were not a factor" in Goodwin's situation.

''Employment at Harvard is based on the specific work skills and work history applicants bring to specific jobs. We have always believed that to be the case, and today the jury has agreed," the statement said.

Source: The Boston Globe

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