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University of Iowa must pay $1.4 million to Jane Meyer
Cedar Rapids Gazette ^ | 05/042017 | Erin Jordan

Posted on 05/05/2017 8:51:19 AM PDT by safetysign

Finding the University of Iowa discriminated against a former athletics administrator based on her gender and sexual orientation, a Polk County jury Thursday awarded Jane Meyer $1.43 million, according to her legal team.

Meyer, 57, a former UI associate athletics director who worked for the department from 2001 to 2014, sued the UI, the Iowa Board of Regents and the state for discrimination. She also alleged the UI retaliated against her when she complained about the Aug. 4, 2014, firing of her longtime partner, Tracey Griesbaum, as the UI’s head field hockey coach.

“This is much bigger than me,” Meyer said in a phone interview with The Gazette. “This is for anyone who has faced discrimination anywhere to stand up and say ‘What is going on is wrong.’ Stand up and point it out because this stuff should not be happening to women, gays, people of color — anyone.”

The jury of five women and three men returned with a unanimous verdict before 3:30 p.m. after deliberating for more than eight hours, according to Meyer’s attorneys, Jill Zwagerman and Tom Newkirk.

The jury found in favor of Meyer on all five of her claims: gender discrimination, sexual orientation discrimination, retaliation, equal pay violation and whistleblower violation, the law firm reported.

The UI released a short statement Thursday: “The university is disappointed by the jury’s decision.”

When asked whether the UI planned to appeal, spokeswoman Jeneane Beck declined to comment further.

The verdict was delivered in a sealed envelope to the judge, so there was no announcement in open court. The paperwork had not yet been posted on Iowa Courts Online by Thursday evening, but Zwagerman said Judge Michael Huppert called the attorneys involved with the news.

Meyer was required to prove her case by a “preponderance of the evidence,” a lower standard than “beyond a reasonable doubt” used in criminal cases. Preponderance of the evidence means a plaintiff’s case must be more convincing than not for jurors to decide in her favor.

During the high-profile trial, dozens of witnesses painted a picture of a Hawkeye athletic department in conflict.

Witnesses included Iowa Athletic Director Gary Barta, Football Coach Kirk Ferentz, Wrestling Coach Tom Brands, Baseball Coach Rick Heller and women’s Basketball Coach Lisa Bluder, among others.

Meyer said Barta had a double standard for male and female coaches, couldn’t tolerate opposition and failed to investigate Meyer’s complaints about gender equity.

Several of the UI witnesses said the conflict in the department actually was caused by Meyer, and ended when Barta transferred her out in December 2014. LIKE WHAT YOU'RE READING? We make it easy to stay connected:

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Meyer was shifted to a position in UI facilities, but her job was eliminated Sept. 9.

“These are really hard to win,” Newkirk said of sexual orientation and gender discrimination lawsuits. He called the verdict a “landmark” that would pave the way for other women.

The $1.43 million award includes $374,000 in lost wages, $444,000 for past emotional stress and $612,000 for future emotional stress.

Meyer’s attorneys plan to file post-trial motions seeking another $2 million from the UI, Zwagerman said. These will include a motion asking the judge to decide whether the UI should give Meyer her job back or pay Meyer “front pay” for lost wages until she reaches retirement.

Because the jury found the UI’s actions were “willful,” Meyer may ask to have her back pay tripled.

The UI Athletic Department’s budget this year is more than $100 million, none of it funded with taxes or tuition.

The verdict may affect a second employment discrimination lawsuit filed against the UI by Griesbaum, Newkirk said. That case is scheduled for trial June 5 in Polk County.

Meyer also has a federal lawsuit against the UI alleging her First Amendment rights were violated. That trial is set for June 2018.

Meyer and Griesbaum have moved to Des Moines, Meyer testified earlier this week. Unable to get other athletics jobs, Meyer said she’s applied for jobs at Lowe’s and Home Depot.

“I don’t know what my future is,” she had said Tuesday.

Two days later, she said hopes the verdict would help her return to athletics.

“I’m willing to work with anyone who wants to create an environment in athletics that is striving for male and female equality,” she said.

TOPICS: Crime/Corruption; Culture/Society; News/Current Events; US: Iowa
KEYWORDS: discrimination; lesbian
All the reports in the paper on the trial prior to the verdict gave her little chance of victory.
1 posted on 05/05/2017 8:51:19 AM PDT by safetysign
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To: safetysign

From an older article:

“The relationship between senior associate athletics director Jane Meyer and coach Tracey Griesbaum has come under scrutiny following Griesbaum’s firing in August over allegations of player mistreatment. At least one parent of a former player and one professor have claimed that the couple’s relationship created the perception that complaints about Griesbaum’s coaching would be ignored.”

2 posted on 05/05/2017 8:58:20 AM PDT by vladimir998 (Apparently I'm still living in your head rent free. At least now it isn't empty.)
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To: safetysign

Nice wig fella!

3 posted on 05/05/2017 8:59:31 AM PDT by LeonardFMason (426)
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To: safetysign

She accused a white male.
She sued a government institution (Big Pockets!)
She is a lesbian on campus.
Why would think she “could possibly” lose?

4 posted on 05/05/2017 9:01:38 AM PDT by Robert A Cook PE (I can only donate monthly, but socialists' ABBCNNBCBS continue to lie every day!)
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To: safetysign

“The UI Athletic Department’s budget this year is more than $100 million, none of it funded with taxes or tuition.”

Isn’t this a travesty! Why in the hell should a public university have a “privately funded” athletic department? These departments should be pared back to support the students, not be a “farm team” for the various “professional sports” franchises.
You have to begin to wonder just what the “value” to the universities the whole intercollegiate sports nonsense is. Institutions of higher learning consider sports “higher learning?”

5 posted on 05/05/2017 9:04:47 AM PDT by vette6387
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To: safetysign

Lesson learned. Easy to hire hard to fire. Weed them out before hiring.

6 posted on 05/05/2017 9:05:05 AM PDT by Oldexpat
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To: safetysign

Yup and the paper and public at large generally don’t have access to information presented to the jury who render the decision. Do juries get it wrong? Sure, it is imperfect. However if we question every judgement we may not like than we no longer have confidence in our judiciary. If that becomes the predominant theme across the public at large then society as we know it has ended

7 posted on 05/05/2017 9:12:06 AM PDT by Jarhead9297
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To: Oldexpat

Very true and I bet the AD wishes he could have done that. Given the 13-year tenure of Meyer, I bet the AD came along after her and couldn’t do anything about it. The way this was handled was totally ham-handed and transparent in its inequity. This especially applies to the job transfer then the job elimination. The dumbass who thought they’d get away with that tactic ought to be fired forthwith.

8 posted on 05/05/2017 9:21:05 AM PDT by T-Bird45 (It feels like the seventies, and it shouldn't.)
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To: Oldexpat

All their resumes go strait in the trash in any sane company.

Ditto for those whose name sounds like it was chosen randomly from a Zimbabwe phone book. Just a lawsuit looking for a place to happen.

9 posted on 05/05/2017 9:41:49 AM PDT by Beagle8U (United for flying 1,000 miles for a camel (toe).)
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To: safetysign

AD Barta is a drooling moron who loves mediocrity, and the university Administration itself was on the lesbo’s side. Surprised they didn’t settle out of court for even more!

10 posted on 05/05/2017 9:56:27 AM PDT by jjotto ("Ya could look it up!")
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To: safetysign


11 posted on 05/05/2017 10:08:20 AM PDT by sauropod (I am His and He is Mine)
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To: vette6387

My alma saddens me. Has changed a wee tiny bit since 1961. Greedy vicious dykes.

12 posted on 05/05/2017 10:47:38 AM PDT by Bonemaker
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To: All; DungeonMaster

Another pervert cashes in on her perversion.

Behold, Romans 1:32 continues to play out before our very eyes.

13 posted on 05/11/2017 12:15:25 PM PDT by newgeezer (It is [the people's] right and duty to be at all times armed. --Thomas Jefferson, 1824)
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To: newgeezer
Another pervert cashes in on her perversion. Behold, Romans 1:32 continues to play out before our very eyes.

John 16:8 And when He has come, He will convict the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment: 9 of sin, because they do not believe in Me; 10 of righteousness, because I go to My Father and you see Me no more; 11 of judgment, because the ruler of this world is judged.

God has given this world to Satan and Christians who think we can win this world for Christ are sadly stoned.

14 posted on 05/11/2017 1:05:33 PM PDT by DungeonMaster (Love your neighbor as you love yourself.)
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