West Virginia Wesleyan College in Buckhannon, W.Va., will pay its former vice president of student development $250,000 to settle an age discrimination lawsuit.
The Record Delta reports that Julie Keehner filed the suit in 2016 after being fired, and the suit was scheduled to go to trial in February. The college offered a $250,000 settlement in November.
In the suit, Keehner contended that the college violated the West Virginia Human Rights Act by compensating male employees in a senior administrative role at the college at a higher rate, despite her having more experience. The suit also alleged that the college terminated Keehner in whole or in part based upon her age. She was 60 at the time.
First hired in 2005 as vice president for student development, Keehner became the vice president of both student development and enrollment management in 2006.
Then, in 2013, the roles were again separated when the college hired a separate vice president of enrollment. Keehner retained the student development position until she was terminated in 2016.
The college issued a statement in which it denied any wrongdoing.
“In response to questions regarding the resolution of the litigation between Julie Keehner and West Virginia Wesleyan College, it is correct that the matter has been resolved,” the college says. “Wesleyan strongly asserts that it did not act wrongfully or unlawfully in any manner related to the termination of Ms. Keehner’s employment. The cost of the settlement was paid entirely through insurance coverage and not through the financial resources of Wesleyan. By resolving this matter, the administration of West Virginia Wesleyan can now do what it should be and wishes to be doing, which is successfully operating the college in a manner that fully supports and assists its constituents, including its valued students.”