CLINTON — The Clinton Community School District will pay former district employee Lynn Westhoff $100,000 in back pay and compensatory damages based on a three-year conciliation agreement from the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).
The district will also pay Westoff’s attorney fees of $50,000.
At a special board meeting on June 25, board president Dan Matthews signed off on the agreement that finds the district discriminated against Westoff “based on her sex, female, by paying her a lower salary, in violation of Title VII and the EPA, and based on her sex, female, her age, 62, and in retaliation for engaging in protected activity, by demoting her and placing her in a less desirable position.”
Westoff was hired in 2011 as Chief School Business Official (CSBO). She left in 2018. Westoff reported that if she remained for the 2018-19 school year, she would have held a teaching position for less income.
The EEOC conducted its investigation after Westoff filed a discrimination charge against the district.
The agreement states the school district will pay Westoff $9,150 in back pay as well as $90,850 in compensatory damages.
In addition, the district is required to hire an outside consultant to conduct anti-discrimination training for all employees including its definition, “setting of salaries, demotion and reassignment.” They will also be trained on “appropriate responses by management to complaints of discrimination and the rights and responsibilities of employees and management.”
Per the three-year agreement, the district must revise its employment policy and “implement procedures for reporting, responding and addressing complaints of discrimination or unequal pay.”
The district must also post a notice on all employee bulletin boards that age and sex-based discrimination is illegal.
The notice identifies that the Clinton school district violated Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Equal Pay Act of 1963 and the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967.
The notice posting requirement is part of the agreement which resolves the charge of discrimination against the district.
“As with any kind of discrimination—racial, age, gender--there will be people who deny it happened because it didn’t happen to them,” Westoff told the Journal. “It doesn’t make it any less real and I am glad the EEOC saw it and agreed with me.”
When contacted by the Journal, Clinton Superintendent Curt Nettles said, “I cannot make comments about personnel matters and employee evaluations and that’s what this would be. I always do what I believe to be best for the district.”