Former University of Iowa athletics administrator Jane Meyer was awarded $1.43 million on Thursday after a jury ruled that the school had discriminated against her on the basis of her gender and sexual orientation.
Meyer was the highest-ranking woman in the department as senior associate athletic director from 2001 to 2014, until she was reassigned and then ultimately terminated last September. According to the Des Moines Register, she claimed that she was discriminated against as a gay woman who was outspoken about inequality in the athletics department, noting that her male replacement was paid $70,000 more than she was for similar work.
Meyer is the longtime partner of the school’s former field hockey coach, Tracey Griesbaum, who was fired in 2014 by athletic director Gary Barta for what he described as “a pattern of reports of abusive behavior toward her athletes,” though a university investigation found no violations of policy. Meyer spoke out against the firing, and a few months later she sent Barta a memo detailing what she felt was gender inequity in the department. She was assigned to a position outside of athletics the next day.
After a three-week trial, the eight-person jury sided with Meyer on all five of her claims—gender and sexual orientation discrimination, retaliation and whistleblower violations, and unequal pay. The financial reward covers back pay, past emotional distress, and future emotional distress.
Griesbaum has also sued the school. Her wrongful termination trial begins in June.