Citizens For A Better Norwood

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Daily Bellwether: Xavier loses 1st round of sex-bias lawsuit

One of our favorite blogs, Bill Sloat’s The Daily Bellwether, is back after a hiatus and reported yesterday that U.S. District Judge Sandra S. Beckwith issued a 28-page ruling last week that rejected Xavier University efforts to dismiss claims that 2 female professors faced illegal sex discrimination when they were terminated at the end of the 2008-2009 academic year. The Xavier Newswire reported in December, 2007 that Assistant Professor Dr. Miriam Finch and Associate Professor Dr. Tara Michels filed suit in Hamilton County Court of Common Pleas on Nov. 20, 2007 and in U.S. District Court on Dec. 3, 2007 against Xavier with claims of discrimination against women, retaliation for assertion of rights, defamation and breach of contract.

In her ruling, Judge Beckwith stated ". . . there is at least some evidence which would support a finding that Plaintiffs' conduct was not the true reason for their termination. For instance, the fact that none of the members of the Faculty Hearing Committee could pinpoint a specific incident in which Plaintiffs were guilty of gross dereliction of duty suggests that the committee's assessment of their conduct was highly subjective." The judge has scheduled an October trial in Cincinnati federal court on charges the women professors were subjected to age and gender discrimination, retaliation, and violations of the Equal Pay Act.

In regard to last week’s ruling, Bill Sloat blogged, “This is another major news story that suffers lack of attention in Cincinnati's corporate media.” We’re glad to see Mr. Sloat back reporting on often ignored news items about both Ohio and the more local community. We’ve reinstalled a link the The Daily Bellwether on the right hand side of the page.