Lecherous lecturer gets compensation: Amsterdam college is ‘negligent’

A lecturer at Amsterdam’s hbo college who made sexually explicit comments to his students, has been awarded €65,000 severance pay because of ‘negligence’ by his employer in the way he was sacked.

The college had been notified about the comments, inappropriate behaviour and unexpected outbursts of anger by the lecturer between 2013 and 2017 but did nothing, broadcaster AT5 reported.

As many as six students reported incidents to the college board, with one saying she had been granted ‘permission’ to skip a class if she sent him ‘a photo of herself in a wet t-shirt competition’. Some students also reported inappropriate embraces and kisses.

The behaviour of the lecturer were never discussed during the annual staff evaluation talks and the complaints were not followed up.

In a ruling made public on Thursday the court said the college’s move to fire the lecturer after it investigated complaints made in 2017, was too little too late.

While calling the actions of the man ‘intolerable’, the judge said ‘an employer should in this day and age take complaints of inappropriate behaviour and/or comments by its staff seriously and handle them with the utmost care and transparency.’

Because no action was taken on the earlier complaints and the lecturer was not informed of the complaints, the college had no grounds to fire him and has been ‘severely negligent in its duties towards a member of its staff,’ the court said.

The lecturer, who is on sick leave ‘with serious psychiatric problems’ will receive a total of  €65,000 in severence pay.

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