MISSOULA – A lawsuit filed by three former and one current university employee accuses the University of Montana of sex-based discrimination.
The Missoulian reported the suit filed in U.S. District Court on Wednesday alleges the university “has long fostered and encouraged a culture, and the resulting actions, that ‘on the basis on sex’ denied female employees the benefits of their long dedication to UM’s educational programs.”
Among the allegations, the plaintiffs accuse university President Seth Bodnar “of taking the reins” in the university’s unequal treatment of women, pointing to several instances of alleged discrimination.
“UM did not create a glass ceiling for these women’s careers,” the lawsuit said. “UM created a brick wall for these women’s careers.”
The plaintiffs are Catherine Cole, Barbara Koostra, Mary-Ann Sontag Bowman and Rhondie Voorhees.
A joint statement from the university and the Montana University System says the institutions “strongly believe these claims are baseless and without merit.”
UM and MUS “look forward to vigorously defending our institutions in court,” the statement said. “The University of Montana is committed to providing a working and learning environment that is free from all forms of discrimination.”
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