A professor at University of the Arts was terminated after he apparently kissed a colleague, but he has fired back, suing the school for wrongful termination and claiming that he did not do anything wrong.
The incident allegedly took place back in 2016. He had gone to a photography conference in Las Vegas. While he was there, he met another professor from California, and he apparently kissed her in what he says was a simple greeting.
However, that professor then informed the school, claiming it was an "unwelcome kiss." The investigation by the school alleged sexual assault, and the professor was then fired.
He says it was not sexual assault at all, claiming that in their art-based line of work, it was common. His lawsuit against the school says: "Kissing a colleague in a social greeting is commonplace among UArts' faculty members and Board members, as it is in many social settings. [The professor] has been kissed by professional colleagues, including his peers at UArts, literally thousands of times."
Instead, he says that the dean is biased against him and does not like him, and he claims that they used these allegations to fire him even though he didn't do anything that warranted it. He has accused the school of gender discrimination, negligence and breach of contract, among other things.
This case really shows how complex things can get when employees get fired, especially when they are under contract and have certain rights and legal protections. It is very important for all involved to understand their rights and to know what steps they can take when they feel that a firing was unlawful.