A man accused of being fired from a university after he was caught plagiarizing the work of a black student in a course on the history of black American history is suing the university and alleging the professor violated his human rights.
The lawsuit filed Friday in federal court in Calgary claims the professor’s conduct violated the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, which protects people from discrimination and harassment.
The university has been ordered to pay damages to the complainant.
The lawyer for the university, John W. Stoddart, did not immediately return a request for comment Friday.
The university said in a statement that the professor had been terminated for violating university policies.
“We are aware of the allegations, and will investigate them fully,” university spokesman Scott Gudell said in an email.
“The University of Calgary takes sexual harassment seriously and has a zero-tolerance policy on sexual harassment, harassment and assault.”
The university also released a statement Friday saying Stoddard has been reinstated as a faculty member.
“His employment was terminated due to allegations of plagiarism and racial profiling,” the university said.
“The University takes these matters very seriously and is committed to addressing them.”
Stoddard’s lawyer did not return a phone message seeking comment.
The lawsuit also alleges that the university discriminated against the complainant, which is a violation of the Canadian Human Rights Act.
The suit is seeking unspecified damages for the complainant and for “unjustly” terminating Stoddards employment.
Stodard was not immediately available for comment.
In an interview with CBC News in October, Stoddar said he believed he was the victim of a political witch hunt.
He said he was terminated by a university that had been under fire for years over a series of complaints, including allegations of racial profiling.
The Calgary-based University of Alberta is part of the University of Toronto.
The Canadian university system has faced scrutiny in recent years after complaints about how it treats people of color, including accusations of racism.
In 2016, the university had to apologize after an internal investigation revealed that some professors and staff had made racist remarks and had used derogatory language toward Indigenous students.