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Labor Dept: Women basketball coaches at UConn were underpaid

STORRS — The University of Connecticut has agreed to pay a total of just under $250,000 to seven women, including four members of Geno Auriemma’s 2014 women’s basketball coaching staff, after the U.S. Labor Department found they had been underpaid when compared with men in similar positions.

A total of $249,539 will go to the women, who were identified by the Labor Department as two law professors and five women who hold the title of Specialist IA and Specialist IIA in the school’s athletic department.

UConn, responding to an email request from The Associated Press, identified those employees by title as its women’s associate head basketball coach (Chris Dailey), the team’s two assistant coaches in 2014 (Shea Ralph and Marisa Moseley), the director of women’s basketball operations (Sarah Darras) and the director of football operations (Sarah Lawless).

The agreement follows a review by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs.

UConn spokeswoman Stephanie Reitz said the school contends each case had “complexities that were unique to those employees, but which UConn maintains was not due to gender.”

Reitz told Hearst Connecticut Media that the matter stemmed from a routine audit in which the Labor Department reviewed 2012-2014 compensation and demographic data for several thousand UConn employees. It was not the result of a complaint, nor was it determined that there were any systemic problems involving the school’s pay practices.

She also said UConn already has paid one employee $92,290 in adjusted compensation. The school did not identify that employee.

But the Labor Department said it found that significant pay disparities remained “even when legitimate factors affecting pay were taken into account.”

The six other employees will receive payments ranging from $5,000 to $50,000, according to the settlement.

Dailey had received just under $313,000 in salary and fringe benefits from the school during the fiscal year that ended in June 2014, according to the state. Ralph received just over $272,000 and Moseley was paid just over $200,600.

The men’s basketball team did not have an associate head coach that year. Head coach Kevin Ollie was paid just under $2.8 million. Men’s basketball assistant coach Glen Miller received just over $312,600 in compensation. Assistant Karl Hobbs received just under $286,600 and assistant Ricky Moore received just under $259,600, according to the state.

Dailey and Ralph declined to comment through a team spokeswoman. Messages seeking comment also were left Tuesday by the AP for Auriemma and Moseley.

The Labor Department said the school has agreed to perform an in-depth analyses of its total employment process and revise any pay practices and implement improved policies to eliminate the possibility of gender discrimination in pay.

“The Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs is satisfied that the University of Connecticut has addressed the pay issues found in our review,” Craig Leen, the director of the Labor Department’s compliance office said in a statement.

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