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Former Fresno State Coach Wins $19 Million in Sexual Discrimination Lawsuit

Former Fresno State women’s basketball coach Stacy Johnson-Klein was awarded $19 million last week in a sex discrimination lawsuit against the school. Johnson-Klein argued that she was fired in March 2005 because she is a woman and because she advocated for gender equality at the university. She also argued that the school investigated her when she complained of gender discrimination, sexual harassment and Title IX violations at the school, reports the Fresno Bee.

The jury deliberated for less than four hours before delivering the unanimous verdict. Johnson-Klein told reports outside court that “for women in general, I think, it’s a victory to see that there’s a justice system in America. You can use it. It’s long, it’s hard, it’s not for the weak of heart. But it works.”

This verdict marks the second sexual discrimination decision against the California school this year, reports the Associated Press. Former women’s volleyball coach Lindy Vivas was awarded $5.85 million in July. She successfully argued that the university fired her in 2004 because of her advocacy for gender equality and perceived sexual orientation. A judge later reduced the award to $4.52 million.

Sources:

Associated Press 12/6/07; Fresno Bee 12/7/07

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