ABOR, and ASU SkySong Tenant Adaptive Curriculum Sued For Violations
Phoenix, AZ — The Arizona Board of Regents and one of ASU’s largest SkySong tenants, Adaptive Curriculum, an online education company and the Arizona Board of Regents is being sued for alleged violations of assault, sexual harassment and the American’s with Disabilities Act. The case is scheduled for trial in early November next year.
Matthew Murphy filed the employment lawsuit early in 2011 in federal court alleging that he unfairly lost his job in 2010, only a few days after cancer surgery and for filing a complaint that he was repeatedly sexually harassed. After jurisdiction was moved from Tucson, where Murphy resided, to Phoenix the case was scheduled for trial.
Murphy, who was employed as a Special Projects Marketing Manager at Adaptive Curriculum, reported sexual harassment concerns and assault to Patricia Myers, the Human Resources manager at Adaptive Curriculum beginning in early November of 2009. According to Murphy, Myers ridiculed him and laughed at him for complaining. Jaqueline Mercier, an administrative assistant at Adaptive Curriculum assaulted Murphy with what other Adaptive Curriculum employee’s state was a, “head bop.”
Amy M. Davidson, an Accounting Manager at Adaptive Curriculum, in a sworn affidavit said, “I saw Jackie bop Matt on his forehead. Jackie did not hit Matt hard at all. It was a light ‘bop.’ It reminded me of the old TV commercial wher a person bops himself on the head and says, “I could have had a V-8!””
Making things worse for Murphy was a diagnosis of cancer in late November of 2009. In late March of 2010 he underwent surgery to remove the cancer. Returning to work in late April, Adaptive Curriculum laid off Murphy only a few days later stating they were “restructuring” their marketing department and eliminated his position. It was only weeks later that Adaptive Curriculum added multiple positions to their marketing department and hired additional employees without recalling Murphy.
“It’s been hard because of the stigma that men can’t be harassed,” Murphy said. “I thought it was just a matter of doing the right thing by asking someone to stop and the company would take care of it, and it wouldn’t affect my life, but it turns out nothing was really done after she was told not to touch me.”
After a few more attempts to reach an accord with Adaptive Curriculum officials, he filed a complaint with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).
Arizona Board of Regents is involved as the result of SkySong’s relationship with its tenant and ASU policies against harassment and the employment of Paul Skiera, Murphy’s supervisor at Adaptive Curriculum who is also the Director of the Technology Based Research and Learning organization at ASU. Skiera’s alleged negligence as an ASU employee where he failed to report the incidents through his ASU channels and whether or not ASU actually profits in some way from Adaptive Curriculum, could create proximate cause to Murphy’s complaint making the Board of Regents also liable. Tucson Federal Judge Cindy K Jorgenson did not dismiss ABOR from the suit.
The lawsuit is seeking penalties and damages.
ASU SkySong is a campus of Arizona State University and part of the Arizona Board of Regents entity. Adaptive Curriculum, is a division of Sebit, LLC, an educational math and science company owned by Oger, a middle eastern holding company.
Sebit, LLC is represented by Attorney Ezra Clark of Mesa and members of BurnsBarton of Phoenix. ABOR is represented by Rachel Bacalzo of the Attorney General’s Office.
- Contact Information
- Matt Murphy
- (1) 480-201-4700
- Contact via E-mail
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