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Iowa Employees Report Discrimination, Bias and Retaliation

January 27, 2020
 
 

In 2017, the University of Iowa hired the law firm Fredrikson & Byron, P.A., to do a comprehensive review of the college's employment practices. The firm's report is now complete and includes complaints from many employees about unfair treatment and fears of retaliation, The Gazette reported Friday.

Over 18,000 employees were invited to take part in an online survey as part of the study. Of those, only 102 -- about half a percent -- chose to participate. In order to take part in the survey, employees were required to give their full name and employment unit. Fifty-seven of the 102 participating employees "stated concerns of inequitable treatment based on protected class," the firm reported. The concerns included unfair treatment based on race, age and gender. Faculty also reported incidents of favoritism and poor treatment by managers.

The firm noted in the report that fear of retaliation may have prevented some employees from participating in the survey or complaining to others.

Cheryl Reardon, chief HR officer at Iowa, said in a statement that the university will look at the recommendations to ensure "the most inclusive and productive work environment possible."

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