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Court: No evidence of gender discrimination in OU case

A lawsuit between Ohio University and an employee was dismissed because of a summary judgment granted last week.

Joyice Childs filed a lawsuit in the United States District Court of the Southern District of Ohio in 2010 claiming gender discrimination when she was allegedly passed up for a salary increase when she was moved from the Finance department to the Office of Information Technology in 2008, according to court documents.

OU asked for the court to rule in its favor, grant a summary judgment, and dismiss the case on March 26.

The motion was granted Friday.

Childs claimed that OU classified her job description improperly and that the payment assessment system had an unequal effect on women.

When the IT department was restructured, 14 employees — all men — received pay increases and two employees — both women — received decreases. Childs’ and 57 others’ pay remained the same.

Childs filed a gender discrimination complaint with OU’s Office of Institutional Equality, the Ohio Civil Rights Commission, and the Equal Opportunity Employment Commission. All three found no evidence of gender discrimination, according to court documents.

OU admitted in court documents that the numbers from the restructuring of the IT department was a poor representation of the payment assessment system’s fairness, but it was a small sample. For the evidence to be relevant, it must look at its fairness during multiple years, according to court documents.

Childs used two male coworkers in her department, who were paid more and had similar responsibilities, for comparison in her complaint. OU stated that Childs’ position was administrative and she had different responsibilities than her male coworkers, whose only similarities were that they reported to the same supervisor.

A similar lawsuit against OU was also dismissed in December, in which former professor Benita Blessing sued for gender discrimination when her contract was not renewed. That case was also dismissed for lack of evidence.

ml147009@ohiou.edu

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