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Lesbian former athletic director sues uni for discrimination

April 17, 2017

A former university athletic director is suing her old employers over claims she was discriminated against as a gay female.

Jane Meyer was the associate athletic director at the University of Iowa, and is bringing the trial against the school after she was laid off last year.

Several coaches are expected to testify at the trial, which is scheduled to last for up to three weeks, with lawyers claiming a last minute settlement is unlikely.

Jurors will be asked to determine if Meyer suffered workplace discrimination due to her gender and sexual orientation, as well as if she was treated differently after complaining about bias against other females coaches.

The trial will also look at whether she was paid less than male coaches.

Regardless of the outcome academics have said the trial will have a big impact on the “morale and culture of the athletics department”.

Speaking to Associated Press, Professor Cheryl Cooky added: “What’s happening at Iowa isn’t unique to Iowa. Iowa might just be a real egregious example of some of these types of treatment we’ve seen.”

The trial will look back through evidence dating back to 2014, when athletic director Gary Barta fired Meyers’ partner and field hockey coach Tracey Griesbaum amid complaints about how she had treated some players.

The sacking led to condemnation from players and fans, with Griesbaum claiming she’d been treated more harshly than male colleagues and promising legal actions.

Barta then announced Meyer would be transferred outside the athletics department before the university eliminated her job as a construction manager and laid her off.

In a statement to Associated Press, Barta said Meyer had opened chastised him in front of staff, as well as claiming to be unaware of her relationship.

It’s not the first time LGBT people in America have gone to court over discrimination claims.

Earlier this year a veteran journalist started legal action against Frontiers magazine after the publication fired her from her position as news editor.

Karen Ocamb was led to believe that she was fired for financial reasons within the company, however it soon came to light that the reason was based solely on her age.

Bobby Blair, the CEO of Multimedia Platforms Worldwide (the parent company of Frontiers) said: “Unfortunately, Karen fell where we realised we were moving toward a digital and Millennial audience, and we wanted to give the generation of Millennials a real shot at creating out content.”

More: Discrimination, Iowa, lesbian, LGBT, lgbt dicrimination, sport, US

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