Former UCSF researcher sues UC regents, UCSF professor for alleged sex harassment

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Kore Chan/Senior Staff

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Eunice Neeley, a former postdoctoral researcher with the UCSF Center for Tobacco Control Research and Education, filed a sexual harassment lawsuit against the UC Board of Regents on Wednesday.

Among other complaints, Neeley is suing for hostile work environment due to harassment based on sex, failure to prevent harassment and retaliation, and negligent retention of an unfit employee, according to the lawsuit.

The lawsuit alleges that the defendant, UCSF professor Stanton Glantz, sexually harassed Neeley, along with a number of her female colleagues. Glantz was Neeley’s supervisor, mentor and adviser at the time.

“Professor Glantz abused his authority and prestige at UCSF and sexually harassed Neeley, and other female subordinates, and subjected them to misogynistic and racially insensitive behavior,” the statement alleges.

During Neeley’s interview with Glantz in 2015, he allegedly stared at Neeley’s breasts, and he has repeated similar behaviors with other women in the office, according to the complaint. The complaint also claims that Glantz made inappropriate sexual remarks in the workplace.

“Neeley finally reported the harassment to UCSF, but no immediate action was taken,” the complaint states. “Instead, UCSF and Glantz retaliated against Neeley by removing authorship credit for a paper she researched and wrote, impacting her career and reputation to others.”

Neeley is seeking significant emotional distress damages because of the seriousness of sexual harassment allegations, according to San Francisco attorney Kelly Armstrong. Though the lawsuit alleges that multiple women have been harassed, Neely is the only plaintiff seeking legal aid. She is also seeking injunctive relief for the authorship of a research paper that Glantz plans to publish without her name listed as an author.

According to the complaint, Neeley was forced to leave UCSF because of the “intolerable” work environment and the alleged failure of UCSF and the regents to take immediate action and prevent Glantz’s ongoing harassment.

This is the first complaint of its kind brought before Glantz.

“It takes incredible courage for women to come forward against sexual harassment perpetrators,” Armstrong said. “It is only now that many women feel safe and able to come forward.”

Armstrong added that she hopes to send a strong message that sexual harassment in the 21st century is unacceptable and that the lawsuit contributes to the wave of accountability that is rapidly gaining momentum.

Neeley is being represented by Armstrong Law Firm, which filed the lawsuit Wednesday.

This is a developing story. Check back for updates.

Ani Vahradyan is the university news editor. Contact her at [email protected] and follow her on Twitter at @anivahrad.

A previous version of this article may have implied there was more than one plaintiff in the lawsuit. In fact, while there are allegations from numerous victims, Neeley is the only plaintiff.

A previous version of this article also stated that the plaintiff is seeking damages for revenue due to the authorship of the tobacco research paper. In fact, she is asking for injunctive relief.

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  • marbee

    Bullying in the 21st century is as unacceptable as sexual harassment, and that’s exactly what Glantz’s anti-smoker crusade has been! He has NO credentials for his position, why he was ever taken seriously is baffling!
    He is a bogus “scientist” who used bogus “science” to hoodwink uneducated legislators into making unconstitutional laws in the name of “public health” that benefits the pharmaceutical corporations. We are tired of the control over our daily lives by these bullies like Glantz, it’s time for him to go after these last allegations. FINALLY, DRAIN THAT SWAMP!

  • itokky Nnamani

    Can someone tell me this is not BIG TOBACCO? I can see their footprints all over this……

  • smokedbacon

    Very interesting indeed. I see where Mr Glantz made a reply to these accusations upon the UCSF wrb site which he himself would probably moderate see
    I quote this from Mr Glantz “Under University of California policy I am not supposed to discuss this investigation until it has been concluded and I have and will continue to respect that policy.” Really? Then why did you post the following”
    Submitted by sglantz on Thu, 2017-12-07 20:36
    As reported in Buzzfeed and elsewhere, Dr. Eunice Neeley has filed a lawsuit against me alleging sexual harassment and discriminatory behavior.

    I have read the Buzzfeed article and deny every claim reported to be included in this lawsuit.

    These allegations were made formally to the University of California in March 2017 and the University has been conducting an extensive investigation that has not yet been completed. I have been cooperating in every way with the investigation, including sitting for several interviews, each several hours long, as well as providing extensive written records. These records provide specific contemporaneous documentation that demonstrates that the related allegations, as reported by Buzfeed, are not supported by the documentary record.

    I have also heard that another woman who has been collaborating with Dr. Neeley will be filing a lawsuit in the near future. She also filed a complaint with the University which is being investigated by the same and other offices. Based on the complaint filed last March I deny the claims made at that time.

    Sir you used the property of the UCSF Center for Tobacco Control Research and Education funded in part by Federal tax dollars in which to defend yourself in a personal matter . That speaks a lot about the basic concepts of ethics in which you place yourself.

  • itokky Nnamani

    Staring at her breasts! It’s a hard case to win except with credible proof.

    • reader5038

      Well, whatever on that. Take out the sexual harassment and you still have the plagiarism of the student’s research and that is probably a bigger offense in academia than being a leering arrogant prof who thought he was untouchable because he had tenure….

      • itokky Nnamani

        It appears you have already passed a verdict of “guilty as charged”! The paper in question is yet to be published for crying out loud, so how can you conclude the sin was committed?

  • castello

    Good riddance. He has been lying about vaping for a decade $$