Once again the University of Tennessee has been hit with a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court, alleging discrimination and retaliation.
Jenny Moshak, the associate director of sports medicine for women’s basketball, and Heather Mason, the associate strength and conditioning coach for women’s basketball and soccer, are the two UT employees behind the complaint. The third plaintiff is the lone male in the suit — Collin Schlosser, a former Lady Vols associate director for strength and conditioning who was laid off in April.
This is not the first time that the three have filed a claim against the university. In February of 2010 the trio filed a discrimination complaint, in which they claimed discrimination in their salaries compared to those in men’s athletics. Moshak compared her salary to those of Jason McVeigh, who was then the director of men’s sports medicine. At that time, Moshak earned a base salary of $87,500 at a pay grade of 46, but received a raise to $90,993 after the first phase of converging the athletic departments. McVeigh, at a pay grade of 45, made a base salary at that time of $89,048. Mason compared her position to four men who had held the title of men’s director of strength and conditioning in the three previous years. All made at least $20,000 more than Mason’s salary of $80,000 at the time of the complaint.
Ron McKeefery, director of strength and conditioning coach for football, currently makes $240,000, while Mason makes $100,000.
The Office of Equity and Diversity dismissed Schlosser’s complaint because he could not show “an employee of the opposite sex earning more compensation for a job that is substantially equal.”
Moshak has been with the Lady Vols for 21 years. She directs all sports medicine, athletic training, rehabilitation, strength and conditioning of the players on the eleven women’s teams at UT and continues to work directly with basketball, traveling with the team.
The new suit alleges that the university retaliated against Moshak by demoting her from her previous title of associate athletics director for sports medicine and reducing her supervisory authority. The suit says Moshak previously supervised sports medicine/athletic training for all women’s sports. It also noted McVeigh’s promotion to his aforementioned title.
The suit alleges comparable retaliation against Mason, saying she previously was the assistant athletics director for strength and conditioning, who supervised all women’s sports.
Regarding Schlosser, the suit alleges that he was fired as part of a “reduction in force.”
The three are asking for a trial by jury and asks for equal compensation, monetary damages and a permanent injunction prohibiting the university from “engaging in discrimination based on the sex of the employee or the program with which the employee is affiliated.”
By Nancy Morris