Jury Awards $1.4 Million to Former Senior Female Athletics Official at U. of Iowa

A state-court jury awarded $1.43 million in damages on Thursday to Jane Meyer, a former senior associate athletics director at the University of Iowa, ruling in her favor on all five claims in her discrimination lawsuit against the university, the Iowa City Press-Citizen reported.

Ms. Meyer — whose partner, the fired field-hockey coach Tracey Griesbaum, is also suing the university — had been the highest-ranking woman in the athletics department and second in command over all before she was reassigned in December 2014 and then terminated last September.

In her lawsuit, Ms. Meyer alleged discrimination on the basis of gender and sexual orientation, retaliation and whistle-blower violations, and unequal pay. She accused the athletics director, Gary Barta, of forcing her out because she was gay and because she was outspoken about gender inequities in the department. Among other complaints, she balked when Mr. Barta brought in a man in August 2014 to perform many of her duties at a salary $70,000 higher than the $176,000 per year she was making.

After the verdict was announced, the university issued a one-sentence statement saying it was “disappointed by the jury’s decision.”

Ms. Griesbaum’s wrongful-termination lawsuit is scheduled to come to trial in June. Mr. Barta has said he fired Ms. Griesbaum, in August 2014, after some former players claimed she had verbally harassed and bullied them. Other players have come to her defense, and a university review found no policy violations on her part.

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