May 31, 2017 at 1:33 pm | Print View
The University of Iowa has paid the $6.5 million settlement to a former athletics administrator and a former field hockey coach who alleged gender and sexual orientation discrimination.
“We got the checks on Friday,” said Jill Zwagerman, attorney for Jane Meyer, a UI associate athletics director from 2001 to 2014, and Tracey Griesbaum, UI head field hockey coach from 2000 to 2014.
The UI announced the settlement May 19, two weeks after a Polk County jury unanimously found in favor of Meyer and awarded her $1.43 million. The UI was facing a second trial in which Griesbaum was alleging employment discrimination. The $6.5 million includes the $1.43 million jury award.
Griesbaum alleged the UI discriminated against her when Athletic Director Gary Barta fired her in August 2014 after a student-athlete said Griesbaum was verbally abusive. A UI investigation showed Griesbaum violated no university policies. When Meyer questioned the dismissal of Griesbaum, her longtime partner, Barta transferred her from the athletic department. She was later fired.
The UI admits no wrongdoing with the settlement. Although there wasn’t a deadline for paying Meyer and Griesbaum, the UI had told the women’s attorneys they would pay by June 2.
Meyer’s share of the settlement is about $2.33 million, while Griesbaum received nearly $1.5 million. Another $2.62 million goes to the Newkirk-Zwagerman law firm in Des Moines for legal fees.
Griesbaum and Meyer, who now live in Des Moines, said they would like to share their stories to help other women facing employment discrimination.
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