4 lawsuits, including 2 Title IX investigation petitions, filed against regents

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Four lawsuits against the UC Board of Regents were filed Tuesday in the Alameda County Superior Court, including two petitions related to university sexual misconduct investigations, a complaint alleging employment discrimination and a breach of contract claim.

The two sexual misconduct investigation lawsuits, one referring to a UC Berkeley Title IX investigation and the second referring to a UC Irvine Title IX investigation, allege the university improperly disciplined each of the petitioners in the respective cases, both of which were found to have violated the university Sexual Harassment and Sexual Violence Policy.

“Petitioner John Doe is a fourth-year student at University of California, Irvine … the improper suspension stems from a Title IX investigation for a sexual misconduct initiated by the university in November 2016 that lacks due process,” the UC Irvine-related petition reads.

Both petitioners requested a writ of mandate from the court to set aside findings and sanctions issued against them.

“Our response to the particular allegations in this case will be provided in court documents and in court proceedings,” said campus spokesperson Janet Gilmore in an email in reference to the UC Berkeley Title IX sexual misconduct investigation. “In terms of our overall student conduct process, it is designed to be fair while also holding accountable those involved in sexual misconduct.”

UC Irvine declined to comment on the pending lawsuit pertaining to its campus’s Title IX investigation.

In a different lawsuit, Dynamic Management Solutions filed a complaint against the regents alleging a breach of contract. The firm, contracted by the university to renovate part of the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, is suing for a minimum of $13 million in damages.

Dynamic Management Solutions alleges in the complaint that the university misrepresented the project the plaintiff was contracted to perform — “what was represented to be a straight-forward demolition and abatement project was … a site that was a veritable cesspool of radioactive and other hazardous contaminated waste,” the complaint reads.

Former UCSF information technology workers also filed suit against the regents and Joe Bengfort, UCSF chief information officer.

Bengfort informed plaintiffs in July 2016 that their employment would be terminated as a result of outsourcing to HCL Technologies, an Indian IT services company, according to the complaint. The plaintiffs allege “UCSF’s outsourcing had a clear discriminatory impact on employees based on their national origin, age, sex and race.”

UCSF responded to the complaint, noting high IT costs as the reason for outsourcing.

“IT costs for the university’s medical center nearly tripled between 2011 and 2016,” UCSF said in an email statement. “Providing patient access and the highest quality care … are among UCSF’s top priorities, and these missions must be carried out in a cost-competitive environment. The employees were given six-months’ notice and significant assistance in finding new employment.”

Bobby Lee is an assistant news editor. Contact Bobby Lee at [email protected] and follow him on Twitter at @bobbylee_dc.