RIVERSIDE, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--On February 7, 2017, Michele Coyle, former Chief Campus Counsel of UC Riverside, was awarded $2.5 million by a jury in Riverside Superior Court, against the University of California. The jury found that Ms. Coyle was retaliated against in violation of the California Fair Employment and Housing Act for reporting gender discrimination at UC Riverside. The jury also found that UC General Counsel Charles Robinson (who reports to the UC Regents) and Tim White (former UC Riverside Chancellor, and current Chancellor of the California State University system) retaliated against Ms. Coyle in violation of Labor Code section 1102.5. Ms. Coyle was terminated on the eve of a federal audit to determine whether UC Riverside complied with its obligations under state and federal law to prohibit discrimination, retaliation, and harassment on the campus, in an effort to conceal information from the auditors.
Mira Hashmall, lead trial counsel, said: “After a seven-week trial, the jury found the University of California failed to live up to its duty to protect individuals from gender discrimination and retaliation. The UC system has an obligation to protect civil rights, and this behavior will not be tolerated. This was a hard-fought victory, and moving forward sends a message to Universities nationwide that retaliatory termination and gender discrimination is wrong. My colleague Casey Pearlman and I are very proud of the work the jury did to reach its findings.”
Miller Barondess managing Partner Skip Miller commented, “Mira is a terrific lawyer and has a great jury presence -- the whole package. I'm very proud of her for a job well done for Ms. Coyle.”