Update: UW-La Crosse reaches settlement to claims

UWL reaches settlements with employee complaints alleging discrimination and retaliation

Two complaints filed by UW-La Crosse employees alleging discrimination and retaliation have been settled.

The UW Board of Regents of the University of Wisconsin System operating as the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse announced Monday that they have reached a settlement of all disputes related to claims filed with the Wisconsin Equal Rights Division concerning Jay Lokken and Sandra Sieber.

Sieber, the Assistant director of the Office of International Education, filed a complaint in April 2014 stating she was passed over for a promotion and that the position was given to a younger woman who was married to the vice chancellor who supervised her department.

Sieber will receive back pay in the amount of $3,889.57 and $17,001.75 for attorney fees. She will also transfer to the position of Assistant Director for Donor Relations in the Advancement Division effective September 1st. Sieber’s salary and appointment term will remain the same as her current position. UWL will also restore all sick leave used by Sieber for stress related to the complaint equaling 12 hours.

Lokken filed a complaint in September 2014 alleging discrimination and retaliation by saying he had received extra scrutiny from his supervisor since Sieber’s complaint. He also claimed the University forced him to take a different position after returning from medical leave.

Lokken will receive $24,253.30 for attorney fees. Chancellor Joe Gow raised the possibility of Lokken returning to the Office of International Education Director position. Lokken indicated he did not want to pursue the opportunity, however, given the devastating impact of the Associate Vice Chancellor’s management of the office in the interim. UWL will also restore all sick leave used by Lokken for stress related to the issues equaling 580 hours.

Chancellor Gow will also issue a letter of apology to both parties.