National

Gunma University fires professor for verbal harassment

Kyodo

Gunma University has fired a professor at its medical school for verbally harassing his staff, including by telling a women she was not allowed to have children.

The unnamed professor, who is in his 40s, was sacked for making comments construed as “power harassment” between January 2012 and summer 2013, the national university said Thursday.

He was blamed for forcing five of his staff, both men and women, to either work on weekends or quit, saying that “if you do nothing on weekends, you are not allowed to come to work on Monday,” university officials said.

He used threatening gestures as well, banging his hand on the desk as he said this, the officials added.

In another incident, the professor made discriminatory remarks against a female employee by saying that for her to get married is “questionable” and that giving birth is “a definite no-no.”

The incidents came to light after several staff members complained. Although the school’s administrators urged the professor to stop harassing them, he failed to comply. The university thus set up a formal investigation committee in April that concluded he should voluntarily resign. When he refused, the decision was made to fire him, the officials said.

Many victims of his harassment have fallen sick and two of the five quit, they said.

Coronavirus banner