U of I will investigate hiring practices in wake of lawsuit - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

U of I will investigate hiring practices in wake of lawsuit

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University of Iowa President, Bruce Harreld, announced Friday the university will hire an independent company to conduct an external review of the school's employment practices.

The review will begin by focusing on the University of Iowa Athletic Department.

The announcement comes just one day after a stunning decision, in which a Polk County jury unanimously awarded monetary damages of $1.43 million to former University of Iowa Senior Associate Athletic Director, Jane Meyer, in her discrimination lawsuit against the University of Iowa.

The 8-member jury ruled in favor of Jane Meyer on all five counts of her lawsuit. She claimed workplace discrimination as a gay woman, in a relationship with her partner, University of Iowa field hockey coach, Tracey Griesbaum, whom Athletic Director Gary Barta fired in August of 2014.

Meyer worked in the University of Iowa Athletic Department for many years. In 2014, she was still Iowa's number two athletics administrator, second only to the Athletic Director. Athletic Director, Gary Barta, transferred Meyer in 2014, after firing Griesbaum.

One of Meyer's key issues was unequal pay. As part of the $1.43 million award for willful discrimination, the jury awarded Mayer $374,000 in lost wages. Meyer has motions pending in her case which could result in even more liability for the University of Iowa.

President Harreld's announcement indicated the University of Iowa will select a firm, using a Request For Proposal process, through a committee consisting of administrators, faculty, staff and students.

A University press release said, "Iowa will hire an independent firm to conduct an external review of university employment practices as defined by the Iowa Civil Rights Act."

The University will be challenged in court again soon, as Tracey Griesbaum has also sued the University of Iowa for discrimination. Her case is set for trial beginning June 5.


 

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