Volleyball Coach Wins Legal Fees in Discrimination Suit

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After settling her discrimination lawsuit against Edinboro (Penn.) University for $250,000, Melissa Soboleski, the school’s women’s volleyball coach has been awarded an additional $219,000 to cover her legal expenses.

According to GoErie.com, Soboleski sued the school, as well as the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education and Edinboro’s then-athletic director, for discrimination, alleging that she made 47 percent less money in her role than a male counterpart at a similar level.

Soboleski was coaching at what is known as the Tier 1 level, and at the time of her suit made just over $64,000 annually. Three male Tier 1 coaches at the school made as much as $120,000, according to Soboleski’s suit.

The state attorney general represented the defendants in the suit, which was settled in September when Soboleski accepted a judgment. The defendants admitted no wrongdoing as part of the settlement.

The additional payout comes after Soboleski was allowed to make a request that the defendants pay her legal fees as the winner of a civil rights case. She initially sought to recover legal costs of more than $245,000. The state acknowledged Soboleski’s right to seek the legal fees, but challenged the request as too high.

Ultimately, the federal judge in the case awarded Soboleski an amount that covered the legal fees, costs and expenses, totaling $218,973.


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