A jury panel of seven men and one woman acquitted Harvard University of discrimination charges earlier this week against Desiree Goodwin, a 40-year-old library assistant. The lawsuit was filed in Middlesex Superior Court of Boston, Massachusetts against the school in 2003.
Goodwin, who is African American, has been working at the Harvard Frances Loeb Library as an assistant for nine years in circulation and reference. Despite her claims that she has been rejected 16 times for promotions in favor of less qualified white men and women, she is still employed at the library.
Goodwin maintained that she attended Cornell University and Simmons College to earn two master’s degrees: one in library science and English literature.
According to Goodwin’s complaint, she endured emotional distress and lost over $100,000 in wages because of the setback. Goodwin also claims that her white female supervisor told her that she would never be promoted because she is just a pretty girl who wears sexy outfits, tight-fitting clothing, and low-cut blouses.
Goodwin’s discrimination accusations were dismissed by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination (MCAD) citing it couldn’t find any form of bias.
Joe Wrinn, a Harvard spokesman, publicly stated that he is elated with the jury’s verdict. Goodwin publicly stated that she will eventually find another job.