Five College Coaches Settle Fair Pay, Treatment Suit

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A settlement agreement has been reached in a lawsuit filed by Colby College’s female head coaches over fair pay and treatment, Newscenter Maine reports

A joint statement released Friday said the matter between the five coaches and Colby College athletic department has been “resolved to the mutual satisfaction of all parties.” Both sides said the lawsuit was “resolved constructively and amicably,” according to the statement released by Kelly M. Hoffman, who represents the coaches, and Jerrol A. Crouter, representing the college.

Softball coach Terren Allen, women's and men's Nordic skiing coach Tracey Cote, women’s lacrosse coach Karen Henning, women’s soccer coach Kristin Shaw, field hockey coach Kelly Terwilliger and women’s ice hockey coach Holley Tyng filed Complaint of Discrimination in Employment lawsuit with the Maine Human Rights Commission in March 2021.

Tyng withdrew from the suit in April 2021, Newscenter Maine reported. Shaw left Colby College in July 2021 for opportunities elsewhere.

Hoffman said during a Zoom interview Friday that the discriminatory lawsuits must be filed with the Maine Human Rights Commission, and that it's not an option to file the lawsuit in a court of law.

In the suit, the coaches highlighted unequal pay compared to their male counterparts, Title VII discrimination and other issues with the school.

Among other complaints, the coaches said they were responsible for more secondary tasks than their male counterparts and said resources including medical support, trainers, and facilities were not distributed equally between men's and women's sports.

"I arguably have been saddled with the most secondary or service responsibilities in the athletic department," Shaw wrote, according to the Newscenter Maine report. "I am a member and leader of the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee, which meets biweekly for several hours. When there was a national search for an Athletic Director, I also was required to serve on the search or hiring committee, which happened during my season and required that I spend a lot of time focusing on assisting with the hiring process for the Athletic Director. The Colby College men’s soccer coaches secondary responsibility was to create a Google document for Colby coaches to fill in their team's community service hours."

"Colby pays me less than comparator male head coaches and requires me to put in more effort than my male comparator and colleagues," Shaw continued.

Hoffman said the suit ended with a "great outcome for everybody."

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