Berkeley Sex-Bias Suit Settled in Coach’s Favor

A former University of California, Berkeley athletic director and swim coach will be rehired with back pay after settling a 2004 lawsuit in which she alleged that she was improperly dismissed in retaliation for accusing the university of sex discrimination. Karen Humphreys, a 1972 Olympic gold medalist for swimming, served as swim coach from 1978 to 1992, and then as assistant athletic director until her dismissal in 2004. She alleges that she was fired after calling attention to what she said was a hostile environment for women in the university’s athletic department. She will receive $3.5 million in settlement, the San Francisco Chronicle report.

“I am really thrilled to be reinstated, and I am happy to recover most of our legal costs,” Humphreys told the Los Angeles Times. In addition to her settlement, she will receive back pay and a position in the Vice Chancellor’s office until her retirement in January 2008.

The university has denied Humphreys’ allegations that it has a history of sex discrimination, and announced that the settlement includes no admission of liability. Humphreys’ settlement comes on the heels of another recent sex discrimination lawsuit in which California State University at Fresno was ordered to pay former volleyball coach Lindy Vivas almost $6 million.


San Francisco Chronicle 7/20/2007; Los Angeles Times 7/20/2007; Chronicle of Higher Education 7/20/2007

Support eh ERA banner