Published: Sat, May 20, 2017
U.S. | By Eddie Scott

Iowa to pay $6.5M to settle landmark sports bias lawsuits

Iowa to pay $6.5M to settle landmark sports bias lawsuits

The University of Iowa will pay $6.5 million to settle lawsuits by former field hockey coach Tracey Griesbaum and former Associate Athletics Director Jane Meyer who said that they were discriminated against because of gender and sexual orientation. The settlement comes as Griesbaum's case alleging discrimination was set to go to trial.

Taylor is the new Athletic Director at Kansas State University. Per terms of the settlement, Iowa will pay Meyer an additional $900,000 to the $1.43 million she won two weeks ago, including another $500,000 in lost wages.

In December 2014, Barta transferred Meyer to a university job outside athletics, saying she couldn't remain in the department while her partner was threatening a lawsuit.

The settlements will be funded by the athletics department. I am very proud of our department's commitment to our student-athletes and that our outlook remains strong.

The Athletics Department will fund all the settlements, and is a self-sustaining department that does not receive tuition or taxpayer funding, according to a press release from UI spokesperson Jeneane Beck.

The documents stated Meyer's settlement totals over $2.3 million, with $874,000 for wages and $1,456,603.19 for emotional distress damages.

Iowa will pay $2.33 million to Meyer, $1.49 million to Griesbaum and $2.68 million to Newkirk Zwagerman, the Des Moines law firm that represented both women. Meyer was infuriated by the firing, blasting Barta in front of other employees. "The majority of cases do settle". He said the school appears to be making corrections under President Bruce Harreld, who approved the settlements and has announced plans to hire an outside firm to review its employment practices. The first phase will cover the Athletic Department, Phase 2 will review UI academic and operational units and the third phase will focus on UI Health Care, the UI reported.

The university is forming a committee of representatives of the administration and shared governance, which represents faculty, staff, and students, to select the outside consulting firm (s).

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