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Cal State LA Settles Harassment Lawsuit for $2.75M

Paul Steinbach

California State University Los Angeles has settled a sexual harassment lawsuit filed by a former high-ranking athletics official for $2.75 million, according to the Los Angeles Times.

One-time Olympic triple-jumper Sheila Hudson was hired as an assistant track and field coach by the university in 2002. In August 2016, she filed a lawsuit in L.A. County Superior Court alleging that recently retired athletic director Mike Garrett and the school violated California's Fair Employment and Housing Act and intentionally inflicted emotional distress, among other causes of action.

Specifically, the lawsuit claimed that Garrett used "degrading, sexist names" such as "sweetheart," "love" and "babe" when addressing women employed in the athletic department, and that Garrett "exploded" when Hudson raised her concerns about it. In addition, Hudson accused the school of retaliating after she compiled a report highlighting gaps in pay and other areas between men and women in the athletic department.

Garret coached at Cal State LA through 2008. She served as the athletic department's compliance coordinator and senior woman administrator for two years before being promoted to associate athletics director in 2008. Hudson was promoted to senior associate director of athletics in January 2016 and served as a campus deputy Title IX coordinator. She left Cal State LA in 2017.

According to court documents obtained by the Times, Hudson is not allowed to discuss the litigation. She must delete all references to the litigation from her personal social media accounts and is barred from applying for any position within the Cal State system. In exchange, she received a check last month for $1.27 million, while her representing firm of Abrolat Law received $1.47 million. She filed a motion to dismiss the lawsuit in late December.

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