Jury Returns Verdict in Favor of Emporia State in Mehus Case

Sep 24, 2004

After a week long trial, a federal jury in the U.S. District Court in Kansas City, Kansas, returned a verdict in favor of Emporia State University on all counts in the Maxine Mehus lawsuit.
Mehus, ESU volleyball coach sued the university alleging that it discriminated against her on the basis of sex violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act and the Equal Pay Act.
“The facts clearly spoke for themselves, and the judgment confirms that ESU did not violate the law, nor did Ms. Mehus’ gender in any way affect the terms of her employment at the University,” according to a statement by the university.
As background, plaintiff Maxine Mehus became the women’s volleyball coach at ESU on August 2, 1988. Over the course of her career at the school, she claims that ESU discriminated against her on the basis of her gender. She filed a complaint to that effect on February 14, 2003, alleging that the university discriminated against her by:
(1) paying her lower salary and benefits than similarly situated male employees;
(2) awarding her smaller and less frequent increases in salary and benefits than similarly situated male employees;
(3) denying her upgraded positions and promotions;
(4) classifying her job in a fashion which denies her the opportunity to be on the same 12-month contract as similarly situated male employees, to receive compensation commensurate with her experience and education, and to receive valuable employment rights and privileges; and
(5) forcing her to work under terms, conditions and privileges which are less beneficial and desirable and more onerous and difficult than those of similarly situated male employees.
The actions, she alleged, violated Title VII, Title IX and the Equal Pay Act. She sought $200,000 in damages.
“We are glad this is behind us, so that we can focus on our mission of educating students, and helping them prepare for fulfilling lives and successful futures,” said ESU President Kay Schallenkamp.


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