A graduate student is suing Columbia University for allegedly firing him after he rejected his boss on the gay dating website Grindr.Alberto Leguina moved to New York City from Chile to work as a staff associate in that department of Columbia, The Columbia Spectator reported.
A few days after he moved to the city, he said he received a message accompanied by a picture of his boss, Qais Al-Awqati, on the Grindr app. Figuring it was a prank, he ignored the alleged message.
However, he says he began to suspect the message was really from the professor and rejected it while he was at work, according to the Spectator.
Then he heard his Al-Awqati yell out “You are out!” from the next room, he claims. Leguina says he went to HR and was assured his position wouldn’t be terminated.
Leguina says Al-Awqati bought him a Macbook to apologise. Still, Leguina figured out he was fired a couple weeks later when he couldn’t log into his school computer, according to the Spectator.
Leguina is seeking damages for sexual harrassment and wrongful termination, among other things.
The school called us with this statement:
“Columbia University has very strong policies that prohibit sexual harassment. We will respond to these allegations in court but don’t comment on pending litigation.”
Business Insider also reached out to Al-Awqati. He declined to comment, citing school policy.
The former Columbia student has started a blog chronicling his account of what happened with the school.
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