A federal complaint was filed against Indiana University Northwest by an assistant professor in the school’s English department. The female employee is stating that she was denied tenure and lost her position because she is openly gay, and is claiming unlawful sex discrimination.

The complaint, which was filed with the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights and the Equal Employment Opportunity Council, states that heterosexual male colleagues at the university were treated better. When she presented her case to a review board, she informed the body that she applied for a promotion in the fall of 2012 and was notified that she had not been given the promotion the next spring. This was in spite of two different unanimous recommendations that were presented to her department chair and dean.

The woman had been a faculty member at the school for eight years. She also notes that there were a small number of students who disapproved of her and complained because she was an outspoken lesbian and feminist. According to what she told a local newspaper, students were angry and she was a targeted minority. She stated that in spite of the students’ claims, she did not talk about her sexuality all of the time and that she believed that students who have never had an openly gay professor before will tend to focus on that attribute.

While state law may not protect the woman in question from being targeted for her sexual orientation, federal law prohibits colleges from discriminating on this basis. If someone has been singled out in their workplace for discrimination, they could have legal recourse that may also involve compensation from their employer.

Source: Huffington Post, “Indiana Professor Claims She Was Denied Tenure For Being Gay“, Tyler Kingkade, December 05, 2013