A former senior-level public relations official at Rutgers University in New Jersey alleges that she lost her job last year because women's college Dean Jacquelyn Litt dislikes lesbians.
Laura Federico claims Litt discriminated against her because she “felt that women who had men behind them were stronger and better employees.”
The lawsuit naming Rutgers and Litt, the Douglass Residential College Dean, was filed in January and moved to a court in New Brunswick last month.
"The fact that plaintiff was a lesbian was not a secret and, in fact, plaintiff kept a picture of her wife on her desk," the complaint says.
Court papers allege that Litt harassed Federico, an allegation the university denies.
Federico is the former editor for the weekly Montclair Times. She was hired in November 2011 to write articles and materials promoting Rutgers women’s college. Rutgers claims Federico was let go because she failed to meet deadlines.
Federico’s complaint states that she was warned that Litt “did not respect lesbians” and that other lesbians who worked in the officer were forced to resign, transferred out, or were fired.
Litt was appointed dean in 2010. Her biography on Rutgers’ website says Dr. Litt is “earned the ‘Distinguished Faculty Award’ from the American Association of University Women-Iowa Chapter for her distinguished contribution toward gender equity in education.”
Rutger’s does not deny that Litt knew Federico’s sexual orientation.