February 20

Appeals Court upholds findings in Emporia State lawsuit


A federal appeals court has upheld lower court findings in a long-running racial discrimination lawsuit against Emporia State University.

The U. S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit on Tuesday denied Emporia State’s motion to dismiss a federal court’s finding in 2019 that the university discriminated against Angelica Hale by not renewing her contract after she complained about discrimination during the 2014-2015 school year.

The district court awarded Hale $1 in damages but in 2020, she was awarded $48,312 in back pay.

The appeals court on Tuesday rejected Hale’s request that she receive more back pay.

Angelica Hale and her husband, Melvin Hale, who are Black, filed separate discrimination lawsuits in 2016 alleging that the school did not rehire them after they raised concerns about discrimination when an assistant found a note with a racial slur in their department.

Melvin Hale was an associate professor at School of Library and Information Management and Angelica Hale was a temporary employee in the department.

A jury dismissed Melvin Hale’s $10 million lawsuit against five school administrators in July 2019.



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