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Case 1:17-cv-00221-MSK Document 1 Filed 01/25/17 USDC Colorado Page 1 of 23

IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT


FOR THE DISTRICT OF COLORADO
Civil Action No.
MAURA CLARE
Plaintiff,
v.
THE REGENTS OF THE UNIVERSITY OF COLORADO, a Colorado body corporate,
PHILIP DISTEFANO, in his official capacity as Chancellor of the University of
Colorado Boulder, and in his individual capacity, and
JOHN GRIFFIN, in his individual capacity,
Defendants.
______________________________________________________________________
COMPLAINT AND JURY DEMAND

Plaintiff, Maura Clare, through her undersigned counsel, for her Complaint and
Jury Demand against Defendants, alleges the following:
INTRODUCTION
1.

For fifteen years, Plaintiff Maura Clare was employed as the Director of

Public Affairs and Conference Coordinator for the Conference on World Affairs (CWA)
at the University of Colorado Boulder (UCB). Clares performance was exceptional.
Defendant John Griffin, the Director of the CWA, forced Clare out of the CWA because of
her age and sex and in retaliation for her complaints about his discrimination against her.
UCBs administration, including Defendant Philip DiStefano, knew of Griffins illegal
conduct toward Clare but refused to intervene. Defendants hired a younger, less qualified
male to replace Clare, at a significantly higher salary. Defendants intentionally and
improperly prevented Clare from obtaining another position within UCB in retaliation for
her protected complaints. Defendants actions violated Clares right to equal protection

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pursuant to 42 U.S.C. 1983, violated Clares rights under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act
of 1964, the Equal Pay Act, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act and the Colorado
Anti-discrimination Act, and breached a contract with Clare.
GENERAL ALLEGATIONS
The Conference on World Affairs
2.

The Conference on World Affairs (CWA or Conference) was founded

in 1948 by a Sociology professor at UCB. The Conference is held for five days every
April on the UCB campus. Throughout its 68-year history, the CWA has been a free,
public event that promises to bring the world to Boulder by bringing in dozens of
distinguished speakers from a wide variety of disciplines who reside outside of Colorado.
3.

The Conference consists of panel discussions on wide-ranging topics

such as music, art, literature, environmental activism, business, science, journalism,


diplomacy, technology, spirituality, the film industry, pop culture, visual arts, politics,
medicine, and human rights.
4.

In recent years, Conference attendees have filled more than 70,000

seats in approximately 200 panel discussions. The CWA has generated enormous good
will and worldwide publicity for UCB.
5.

Each year, the Conference was planned and run by CWA staff members

(including the Plaintiff) who worked closely with volunteer students, members of the
Boulder community and UCB faculty and staff. The partnership between CWA staff and
volunteers enabled UCB to put on a large, world-renowned conference for relatively little
investment.
6.

Since 1996, the CWA has been jointly managed by a faculty Director

(employed by UCB) and volunteer Chairpersons from the community. From 1998 through

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May 2014, Professor James Palmer was the faculty Director. From 1996, Jane Butcher
was a co-Chair of the CWA. In 2013, Butcher became the sole Chair of the CWA.
Maura Clare
7.

Beginning in 2000, Plaintiff Maura Clare was employed by UCB as the

Director of Public Affairs and Conference Coordinator for the CWA. (She also worked for
the CWA from 1988 to 1993.)
8.

Clare managed the day-to-day operations of the CWA and supervised

the two other CWA staff members an Assistant Conference Coordinator and an
Assistant Director of Public Affairs. She reported to the faculty Director and worked
collaboratively with the Chairperson.
9.

Clare was responsible for recruiting, training, managing and coordinating

the work of approximately 80 to 100 volunteers serving on multiple committees. Her


duties included scheduling and facilitating planning meetings with the volunteers;
planning and creating topics for panels; researching and recruiting speakers; managing
programming and scheduling; managing conference logistics, venues, and staffing;
managing and arranging transportation and housing for speakers; planning meals and
other social events connected with the conference; overseeing content creation and
production of programs and other printed materials for the Conference; creating publicity
materials; managing media coverage and promotion; researching and soliciting financial
support from donors; researching and writing grant proposals; and coordinating with
various campus and community groups involved in fundraising and other aspects of the
CWA.
10.

Clare was exceptional at her job. In each and every annual Performance

Evaluation from 2000 through 2014, Director Palmer ranked Clare outstanding (the

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highest rating). She consistently far exceeded performance expectations and her work
was of exceptional quality.
11.

Clare was instrumental in significantly increasing participation in the

CWA. In the first ten years of her management, attendance doubled. Student
attendance at the Conference increased from under 10 percent of attendees to around
25 percent. The volunteerism of students more than doubled, and the participation of
UCB professors increased significantly.
12.

Despite multiple significant budget cuts, Clare kept the CWA operating

within and sometimes under budget due to her successful cultivation of corporate
sponsors and donors. Through her fundraising and sponsorship efforts, Clare even
managed to accumulate surplus funds sufficient to cover an entire years operating
expenses.
13.

Clare personally recruited numerous famous and distinguished

personalities to speak at the Conference without remuneration.


14.

CWA participants and volunteers respected and admired Clare and

considered her the heart and soul of the CWA.


Benson and the Conservative Regents Are Critical of the Liberal CWA
15.

Despite the extraordinary value and success of the CWA, the President

the University of Colorado, Bruce Benson, and the conservative Republican regents
viewed the CWA as a festival of liberals that was obstructing one of their primary goals
to promote right-wing conservative political thought on the UCB campus.
16.

Benson detested the CWA so much that he refused to lead the opening

march of the Conference, introduce the keynote speaker and host the opening dinner, as
other Presidents had traditionally done. Benson refused even to set foot on campus

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during the week of the Conference.


17.

Chancellor Philip DiStefano (who was promoted to Chancellor by

Benson) was well aware of Bensons and the conservative Regents views on the CWA.
In the fall of 2013, DiStefano told Chair Jane Butcher that Benson was always on [his]
back about the CWA and that Benson and the conservative regents were focusing on
the CWA.
DiStefano Installs Griffin as CWAs New Director
18.

In April 2013, CWA faculty Director Palmer gave notice that he would be

resigning after the 2014 conference.


19.

Those who wanted to change the CWA saw the opportunity to do so

through a new faculty Director whom they could control. Thus, the search process was
manipulated to yield only one finalist for the CWA Director position John Griffin, an
Associate Professor in his second year of teaching at UCB.
20.

Griffin knew nothing about the CWA and had never even attended the

Conference. He applied for the Director position because the administration told him to.
21.

Although the search committee concluded that Griffin was unsuitable

for the position, Griffin was appointed Director of the CWA, effective June 1, 2014.
Griffins Bias Against Clare
22.

At the time of Griffins appointment, Clare was 53 years old. When

Griffin first met Clare and her two assistants, Casey Koehler (in her 40s) and Bryan New
(in his 20s), it was immediately apparent that Griffin was biased against Clare. Griffin
avoided looking at Clare and barely spoke to her, focusing his attention primarily on New.
23.

Leading up to the April 2014 conference, Clare tried to ignore Griffins

aversion to her and interact with him in a normal way. She offered to provide Griffin

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information about the CWAs operations and introduce him to key donors and committee
leaders. Griffin rejected Clares overtures and attended little of the Conference.
24.

Although the 2014 Conference was very successful and operated

smoothly due to Clares outstanding management and coordination of the efforts of


hundreds of participants and volunteers, Griffin (who was not yet Clares supervisor)
emailed Clare (with a copy to the Associate Dean) stating that he was disappointed in
her because there was no sign in one of the venues reminding attendees to be quiet.
25.

In May 2014, before Griffin knew anything about Clare or New other than

their genders and ages, Griffin met secretly with New and offered him a promotion to
Director of Public Affairs. Griffin offered to reassign Clares public affairs duties (the most
important part of her job) to New and said that New would report directly to Griffin. Griffin
asked New not to tell Clare about his plan.
26.

New declined the promotion and reported Griffins plan to Clare. Clare

asked Griffin why he wanted to reassign her most important job duties to New. Griffin
refused to explain.
27.

Although he did not formally reassign Clares duties or change her title,

Griffin proceeded to ignore Clare and diminish her role wherever he could. In the
summer of 2014, Griffin met with UCB administrators, deans, associate deans, and other
leaders on campus about CWA business. He excluded Clare from meetings that directly
involved her expertise and job duties and withheld information from her, preventing Clare
from doing her job effectively.
28.

In stark contrast to his treatment of Clare, Griffin praised and supported

New and tried to give him more responsibility. Griffin asked New to accompany him to
meetings that Clare should have attended.

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29.

At a staff meeting in the late summer or fall of 2014, New told Griffin that

he did not respect Griffin and had no confidence in his leadership. Clare tearfully told
Griffin that she was concerned because he had seemed to have a preconceived bias
against her.
30.

Griffin responded by praising New, calling him a young man with a lot of

potential and reiterating his plan to mentor New and give him more responsibility. Griffin
did not address Clares concerns about his bias against her.
31.

Thereafter, Griffin offered New a raise. In the same time frame, Griffin

mentioned that the funding for Clares position would likely be cut.
Griffin Removes Butcher for Supporting Clare
32.

Over nearly two decades, Chairperson Jane Butcher had made major

contributions, both financial and personal, to the CWA. For many years, Butcher had
worked closely with Clare to plan and implement the conference; her involvement,
assistance and support was critical to Clare and to the CWA.
33.

When Butcher learned that Griffin had tried to demote and marginalize

Clare, she asked Griffin to explain the reason for this. Griffin would not give any
legitimate reason. He told Butcher that staff was just staff and he could do whatever he
pleased with them.
34.

Butcher explained that the magic of the Conference was largely due to

Clares skill and hard work and told Griffin that demoting Clare would be detrimental to
the CWA.
35.

Due to Butchers support for Clare, Griffin told Butcher that she could no

longer attend CWA staff meetings (which she had attended for years) because she and
Clare were too close.

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36.

Griffin ordered Clare and the other staff members not to discuss CWA

business with Butcher and told Clare that Butcher was protecting staff. Later in the
same conversation, Griffin remarked to Clare that the CWA needed to do a better job of
replacing people as they get older.
37.

Based on these comments, Clare understood that Griffin wanted to

demote her and diminish her role due to her age and that Butcher had been trying to
prevent him from doing so. Shocked, Clare told Griffin that she intended to work at the
CWA for another fourteen years. Griffins only response was a look of anger and
disapproval.
38.

Throughout the summer and fall of 2014, Griffin was meeting with

Benson about the CWA. (This was unusual because Benson had never met with
Palmer, the prior CWA Director.) Griffin told many in the CWA that changes needed to
be made, but he refused to let Butcher, Clare or anyone else in on the plan.
39.

In the fall of 2014, Griffins hidden agenda, mismanagement of the CWA

and mistreatment of the staff was becoming a concern for the CWA volunteer leaders.
One of these leaders, Rosemary Getsie, who was an industrial organizational
psychologist, offered to coach Griffin and help him try to improve his relations with staff
and others.
40.

In a coaching session, Getsie asked Griffin why he was trying to promote

New and marginalize Clare. Griffin explained that young men need to be given
opportunities to keep them interested or they will leave. On the other hand, he said,
Clare was standing in the way of the changes that needed to be made in the CWA.
DiStefano and Human Resources Offices Refuse to Intervene to Prevent Griffins
Discrimination Against Clare.

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41.

Due to Griffins discrimination against her on the basis of her sex and

age, Clare suffered emotional distress, including depression, anxiety, insomnia, digestive
issues and headaches, on a daily basis.
42.

The University of Colorado has a policy forbidding discrimination on the

basis of sex and/or age and has committed to its employees that the workplace will be
free of such illegal discrimination.
43.

In October 2014, Clare consulted multiple employee and counseling

resources within UCB about Griffins discriminatory conduct toward her. Clare met with
the Office of Institutional Equity and Compliance (OIEC), the office charged with
complying with laws against discrimination and harassment. She also met with the
Ombuds Office (billed as a safe place to talk about campus-related problems), and the
Employee Relations department. None of these offices offered help.
44.

In early November 2014, New resigned and made a written complaint to

DiStefanos office that Griffin was discriminating against Clare. DiStefanos office refused
to intervene and merely referred News complaint to the OIEC, which took no action on it.
45.

Within a few days of News resignation, Griffin bypassed UCBs normal

hiring procedures to offer the position of Director of Public Affairs (the same position that
New had turned down) to Mary Rochelle, a twenty-five-year-old CWA volunteer.
(Rochelle declined the position after learning that Griffin had made this offer to her without
Clares knowledge.)
46.

Clare reported to DiStefanos office that Griffin had offered her job to a

younger, less qualified person and was biased against her because of her age.
DiStefanos office refused to intervene and referred Clares complaint to the OIEC, which
took no action.

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47.

On November 17, 2014, Clare made a formal complaint of age and sex

discrimination directly to the OIEC on the basis that Griffin had twice tried to demote her
and replace her with younger, less qualified individuals. The OIEC refused to investigate
or take any action, claiming that Clare had not suffered any adverse consequence.
Griffin Retaliates Against Clare.
48.

When Griffin learned of Clares complaints of discrimination, he began

scheming to terminate her employment in retaliation for her complaints.


49.

Griffins hostility toward Clare increased. Griffin refused to speak to

Clare and communicated with her only when he was forced to and almost entirely by
email. Griffin denied or ignored requests or suggestions Clare made, forcing Clare to
communicate with Griffin through others so that he would not know that the requests and
suggestions came from her.
50.

By early December, Griffins conduct had rendered the CWA office so

dysfunctional that Clares other assistant, Casey Koehler, was on the verge of resigning
because she could not work for Griffin.
51.

Additionally, in his coaching sessions with Getsie, Griffin revealed his

plan to terminate Clare, for reasons he refused to explain.


52.

The CWA leadership became concerned that the Conference was in

jeopardy due to Griffins treatment of the CWA staff. A group of leaders met with Griffin
about their concerns. Griffin refused to change his behavior and instead blamed Clare
and accused her of holding the CWA hostage.
53.

The group then met with DiStefano to inform him that the Conference

was in jeopardy due to Griffins treatment of the staff and asked him to remove Griffin.
DiStefano again refused to intervene, but suggested that the group meet with Griffin and

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the staff weekly to mediate the issues so that the Conference could go forward.
54.

This group, called the Interim Advisory Board (IAB), was to act as a

buffer between Griffin and the staff, to prevent Griffin from interfering with their work and
to try to improve the relationship between Griffin and the staff so that there could be a
successful conference. Clare understood that she could go to the IAB in confidence
about any issues or concerns with Griffin.
55.

While Griffin was going through the motions of meeting with the IAB, he

ignored their advice and continued on with his preparations to fire Clare.
The UCB Employee Relations Office Assists Griffin in Retaliating Against Clare.
56.

Clares 15-year record of exceptional performance made it difficult to fire

her without raising suspicion, so Griffin sought the help and advice of a consultant from
the Employee Relations office at UCB.
57.

UCB claims that its Employee Relations office is committed to creating

and maintaining a positive and productive working environment for all employees and to
providing fair and unbiased consultation.
58.

Several weeks earlier, Clare had reported to the Employee Relations

office that Griffin was discriminating against her on the basis of her sex and age.
59.

Despite Clares report, the Employee Relations consultant never

questioned Griffin or asked him why he wanted to terminate such an excellent employee.
Instead, the consultant coached and assisted Griffin in preparing a false and unfair
performance evaluation to be used for the purpose of justifying Clares termination.
60.

In February 2015, while Clare was working 12-hour days to ensure the

success of the Conference, Griffin was busy drafting an evaluation that, among other
things, accused Clare of insubordination because she had made legally protected

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complaints of discrimination.
61.

Griffin waited until the month before the Conference, during Clares

busiest time, to email the evaluation to Clare. Clare opened the email in front of several
volunteers and broke down in tears when she read it. In the email, Griffin insisted that
Clare read and sign the evaluation immediately, despite the fact that she was in an
important all-day working session with volunteers.
62.

On March 17, 2015, Clare asked Griffin to meet with her and asked

human resources representative Bernadette Stewart to attend. Clare discussed all the
ways in which the evaluation was unfair and untrue and stated that the evaluation was
motivated by Griffins illegal bias against her.
63.

After Clare finished speaking, Stewart (who had no knowledge of the

facts) assured Griffin that he had done nothing wrong.


64.

On March 18, 2015, Griffin had lunch with Bob Yates, Beth Bowman and

Mary Rochelle, three CWA volunteer leaders.


65.

Griffin announced to the group that he had given Clare a bad

performance evaluation and that things would come to a head in May.


66.

Bowman and Rochelle protested that firing Clare would damage the

CWA asked why he would do such a thing. Griffin said that the CWA was too dependent
upon Clare. Yates, who already knew of the plan to fire Clare, stated that Clare had to
go because she was too emotional.
The OIEC Fails to Protect Clare.
67.

In mid-March, 2015, Clare reported the discriminatory and retaliatory

performance evaluation to the OIEC.


68.

This time the OIEC agreed to investigate the performance evaluation, but
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warned that the investigation would likely take at least three months.
69.

Although Clare also reported to both the OIEC and the Chancellors

office Griffins announcement to Bowman and Rochelle that he intended to fire her in
May, there was no attempt made to expedite the investigation or to protect Clare from the
impending retaliatory termination.
70.

On April 3, 2015, the OIEC officially informed Griffin of Clares complaint

about the performance evaluation. That same day, the Employee Relations consultant
sent Griffin a form termination letter to use in terminating Clares employment and
scheduled a meeting for Griffin with University counsel to discuss the mechanics of the
termination.
71.

On April 6, 2015, the Conference began. Griffin and Yates spread the

word around the conference that Clare would be terminated after the Conference. Griffin
went around the conference introducing a young man he had hired to Conference
participants and attendees as a new CWA staff member, leading Clare and others to
believe that the young man was Clares replacement.
72.

Clare overheard Yates loudly discussing her insubordination with others

in a crowded area. Clare reported this to the OIEC and to DiStefanos office. Despite the
fact that Griffins disclosure of her private personnel information to third parties clearly
violated University policies, neither DiStefano nor the OIEC took any action to prevent
Griffin from continuing to disparage and humiliate Clare.
73.

On April 10, 2015, Griffin and other panelists participated in a panel

about the future of the CWA, attended by about 900 people. One of the panelists
thanked Clare for a very successful conference, and she received a standing ovation.
Griffin remained seated. An audience member asked Griffin why he was discarding

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Butcher and Clare, who were the heart and soul of the conference. Griffin responded
that he was continuing to speak to Butcher about her involvement and conspicuously
made no mention of Clare.
74.

After the Conference, the IAB wrote to DiStefano reporting that Griffin

had refused to work with members of his staff on creating an atmosphere of mutual trust,
inclusiveness, transparency and respect. In its report, the IAB detailed Griffins multiple
failures as Director and again urged his removal.
75.

At a meeting in late April, the CWA staff and volunteers held their usual

meeting to discuss the conference. Dozens of volunteers spoke, strongly urging Griffin to
resign.
76.

Eighty-five panelists and forty-one community volunteers, many of whom

had participated in CWA for several decades, refused to return unless Griffin was
removed.
77.

The two CWA staff members who assisted Clare resigned, stating that

they could not work with Griffin.


78.

Butcher withdrew an offer to donate $1 million to the CWA because of

79.

Despite Griffins failure as Director, his discrimination and retaliation

Griffin.

against Clare, his decimation of the organization that had been built through the hard
work and dedication of the CWA staff and hundreds of volunteers over seven decades,
Benson and DiStefano supported and protected Griffin and publicly praised his leadership
of the CWA.
Clare Takes a Medical Leave and Is Terminated.
80.

As a direct result of Griffins discrimination and retaliation, Clare


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experienced psychological harm, including anxiety, depression and acute stress. Clares
health care providers advised her that she would risk further psychological harm if she
returned to work for Griffin. Clare took three months of job protected medical leave.
81.

In late July 2015, Clares medical leave expired and she was ordered to

return to work or be terminated. Clare asked for an extension of the medical leave
because the OIEC was still investigating her complaints against Griffin, and the
intolerable working conditions had not changed. Alternatively, Clare asked for a transfer
to another department and another supervisor.
82.

Despite the fact that he was still under investigation by the OIEC for his

discrimination and retaliation against Clare, Griffin was allowed participate in deciding
whether to grant Clares requests. Clares requests were denied.
83.

On August 10, 2015, the OIEC finally concluded that the performance

evaluation Griffin had given Clare was not discriminatory. Although it had investigated
for nearly five months, the OIEC failed to interview key witnesses and ignored the bulk of
Clares complaint, including her claim of retaliation.
84.

The OIECs investigation was tainted by DiStefanos public statement of

support for Griffin.


85.

By letter dated October 9, 2015, Griffin and DiStefano terminated Clares

employment. The reasons for terminating Clare were pretextual. Clare was allowed to
use her accrued vacation to remain employed until December 20, 2015.
86.

Clare applied for several job openings within UCB. Although Clare was

well-qualified for these positions, she was rejected in retaliation for her protected activity.
Griffin Hires a Less Qualified Young Male to Replace Clare for Much Higher Pay.
87.

On November 14, 2015, Griffin hired Alan Culpepper as CWAs Director


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of Operations, a job virtually identical to the position Clare held.


88.

Culpepper, a male who was approximately 43 years of age, previously

had worked as a running coach and had no relevant experience managing conferences
similar to the CWA. However, Culpepper had close social ties to Republican regent
Steve Bosley.
89.

After fifteen years of excellent performance, Clares annual salary was

approximately $75,000. Culpepper was hired at an annual salary of $108,000.


90.

Griffin hired three assistants to help Culpepper do the job that Clare had

done with two assistants.


VENUE AND JURISDICTION
91.

Jurisdiction is proper in this Court pursuant to 42 U.S.C. 1983 and

1988, and 28 U.S.C. 1331 and 1343.


92.

Plaintiff Clare has complied with all administrative, jurisdictional, and

legal prerequisites to the filing of this action. Specifically, she has received a Notice of
Right to Sue from the United States Department of Justice.
93.

Venue is proper in this judicial district pursuant to 28 U.S.C. 1391(b)

because the unlawful practices alleged herein were committed within the District of
Colorado.
PARTIES
94.

Plaintiff Maura Clare is an individual residing in Denver, Colorado.

95.

Defendant Board of Regents is the governing body of the University of

Colorado.
96.

Defendant Philip DiStefano is the Chancellor of the University of

Colorado Boulder, and resides in Boulder, Colorado.

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97.

Defendant John Griffin is the Director of the Conference on World Affairs

and an associate professor at UCB and resides in Boulder, Colorado.


CLAIMS FOR RELIEF
FIRST CLAIM FOR RELIEF
Violation of Equal Protection Pursuant to 42 U.S.C. 1983
(against Defendants DiStefano and Griffin, in their official capacity for
prospective relief and in their individual capacity)
98.

Plaintiff hereby incorporates Paragraphs 1 through 97 as though fully

alleged herein.
99.

Gender and age are protected classes pursuant to the United States

Constitution's due process and equal protection guarantees. Plaintiff Clare is a member of
a protected class.
100.

Defendants deprived Plaintiff Clare of her constitutionally protected

rights, under color of state law, when they acted intentionally and recklessly to deny
Plaintiff Clare equal protection under the law because of her gender and age.
101.

Defendants' practices relied upon improper classifications based on

gender and age.


102.

No compelling governmental interest justified Defendants' conduct.

Alternatively, Defendants' conduct was not narrowly tailored to promote a compelling


governmental interest.
103.

The conduct of Defendants DiStefano and Griffin violated the clearly

established rights of Plaintiff Clare, of which reasonable persons in Defendants' position


should have known.
104.

The aforementioned conduct represented the official custom, policy, or


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practice of Defendants.
105.

Defendants received actual and constructive notice of a pattern of

constitutional violations, had the power to prevent or mitigate such illegal conduct,
demonstrated deliberate indifference to and tacit authorization of the acts, and failed to
take sufficient remedial action.
106.

Plaintiff Clare suffered injury to her person and her property on account

of her gender and age.


SECOND CLAIM FOR RELIEF
Discrimination and Retaliation in Violation of Title VII
(against Defendant Board of Regents)
107.

Plaintiff hereby incorporates Paragraphs 1 through 106 as though fully

alleged herein.
108.

Defendants have engaged in a pattern and practice of gender

discrimination and retaliation in violation of Title VII.


109.

Plaintiff Clare, a female, is a member of a protected class.

110.

Plaintiff Clare was qualified for the position she held.

111.

Defendants took adverse actions against Plaintiff Clare because of her

gender and opposition to conduct prohibited by Title VII, including but not limited to
subjecting her to workplace hostility, evaluating her performance unfairly, publicly
disparaging and humiliating her, forcing her out of her position and terminating her,
denying her other positions for which she was qualified and paying her less than a male
employee in the same position.
112.

Plaintiff Clare was treated less favorably than male employees and
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employees who did not oppose acts prohibited by the statute.


113.

Defendants' misconduct has damaged Plaintiff Clare.

114.

Defendants' misconduct was willful and wanton and done in reckless

disregard for Plaintiff Clare's rights and feelings.


THIRD CLAIM FOR RELIEF
Discrimination and Retaliation in Violation of the ADEA
(Against Defendant DiStefano in his official capacity for prospective relief only)
115.

Plaintiff hereby incorporates Paragraphs 1 through 114 as though fully

alleged herein.
116.

Plaintiff Clare is protected by the Age Discrimination in Employment Act

(ADEA). At all relevant times, she was over the age of 40 and opposed acts prohibited
by the statute.
117.

Defendants took adverse actions against Plaintiff Clare because of her

age and opposition to conduct prohibited by the ADEA, including but not limited to
subjecting her to workplace hostility, evaluating her performance unfairly, publicly
disparaging and humiliating her, forcing her out of her position and terminating her,
denying her other positions for which she was qualified and paying her less than a
younger employee in the same position.
118.

Plaintiff Clare was treated less favorably than younger employees and

employees who did not oppose acts prohibited by the statute.


119.

Defendants' misconduct was willful and wanton.

120.

As a result of Defendants' illegal conduct, Plaintiff Clare has suffered

damages.
FOURTH CLAIM FOR RELIEF

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Discrimination and Retaliation in Violation of the


Colorado Antidiscrimination Act (CADA)
(Against Defendant Board of Regents)
121.

Plaintiff hereby incorporates Paragraphs 1 through 120 as though fully

alleged herein.
122.

Plaintiff Clare is protected by the CADA in that she is a female, she was

over the age of 40 at all relevant times, and she opposed acts prohibited by the statute.
123.

Defendants took adverse actions against Plaintiff Clare because of her

gender, age and opposition to conduct prohibited by the CADA, including but not limited
to subjecting her to workplace hostility, evaluating her performance unfairly, publicly
disparaging and humiliating her, forcing her out of her position and terminating her,
denying her other positions for which she was qualified and paying her less than a
younger male employee in the same position.
124.

Plaintiff Clare was treated less favorably than employees who were

younger, male, and/or who did not oppose acts prohibited by the CADA.
125.

Defendants' misconduct was willful and wanton.

126.

As a result of Defendants' illegal conduct, Plaintiff Clare has suffered

damages.
FIFTH CLAIM FOR RELIEF
Breach of Contract
(Against Defendant Board of Regents)
127.

Plaintiff hereby incorporates Paragraphs 1 through126 as though fully

alleged herein.
128.

Plaintiff Clare and the Regents entered into a contract for employment.
20

Case 1:17-cv-00221-MSK Document 1 Filed 01/25/17 USDC Colorado Page 21 of 23

129.

Plaintiff Clare's contract for employment guarantees her the right not to

be discriminated against on the basis of her age and/or sex and not to be retaliated
against for making complaints of discrimination.
130.

Plaintiff Clare opposed illegal discrimination.

131.

Defendant Regents breached the contract with Plaintiff by discriminating

against Plaintiff because of her age and/or gender and by retaliating against her for
opposing discrimination.
132.

As a result of Defendants discrimination and retaliation, Plaintiff Clare

has been damaged.


SIXTH CLAIM FOR RELIEF
Violation of the Equal Pay Act
(Against Defendant Board of Regents
and DiStefano and Griffin in their individual capacities)
133.

Plaintiff hereby incorporates paragraphs 1 through 132 as though fully

alleged herein.
134.

Clare was performing work which was substantially equal to that of the

male employee who was hired to replace her, considering the skills, duties, supervision,
effort and responsibilities of the jobs.
135.

The conditions where the work was performed were the same.

136.

The male employee was paid substantially more.

137.

Defendants Griffin and DiStefano were responsible for the decision to

pay Clares male successor substantially more than Clare.

138.

The actions of Defendants in violation of the Equal Pay Act were willful.

139.

Clare is entitled to recover the difference between her wages and those
21

Case 1:17-cv-00221-MSK Document 1 Filed 01/25/17 USDC Colorado Page 22 of 23

of her male successor, as well as liquidated damages equal to that amount.


WHEREFORE, Plaintiff respectfully requests that this Court enter judgment in her
favor and against the Defendants and award the following:
a)

Injunctive and declaratory relief, including a declaration that the

Defendants actions toward Clare were unconstitutional and illegal and an


injunction preventing Defendants from continuing their unconstitutional and illegal
conduct;
b)

Prospective relief on all claims so limited;

c)

Damages in such an amount as shall be proven at trial for twice the

amount of back pay and benefits, wages, and other employment opportunities;
d)

Reinstatement or, in the alternative, front pay and benefits;

e)

Compensatory damages, including damages for emotional distress

and humiliation;
f)

Punitive or exemplary damages on Plaintiffs claims against the

individual Defendants under federal law only;


g)

Liquidated damages;

h)

Attorney fees and costs;

i)

Pre- and post-judgment interest, costs, expert witness fees; and

j)

Such other relief as the Court deems just and proper.

PLAINTIFF REQUESTS A TRIAL BY JURY ON ALL ISSUES SO TRIABLE.

22

Case 1:17-cv-00221-MSK Document 1 Filed 01/25/17 USDC Colorado Page 23 of 23

Respectfully submitted this 25th day of January, 2017.


/s/ John A. Culver
John A. Culver
Theresa L. Corrada
BENEZRA & CULVER, P.C.
633 17th Street, Suite 2610
Denver, CO 80238
Telephone: (303)716-0254
Email: jaculver@bc-law.com
tlcorrada@bc-law.com
Attorneys for Plaintiff

Plaintiffs Address:
2126 Grove Street
Denver, CO 80211

23

Case 1:17-cv-00221-MSK Document 1-1 Filed 01/25/17 USDC Colorado Page 1 of 2

CIVIL COVER SHEET

JS 44 (Rev. 11/15)'LVWULFWRI&RORUDGR)RUP

The JS 44 civil cover sheet and the information contained herein neither replace nor supplement the filing and service of pleadings or other papers as required by law, except as
provided by local rules of court. This form, approved by the Judicial Conference of the United States in September 1974, is required for the use of the Clerk of Court for the
purpose of initiating the civil docket sheet. (SEE INSTRUCTIONS ON NEXT PAGE OF THIS FORM.)

I. (a) PLAINTIFFS

DEFENDANTS

THE REGENTS OF THE UNIVERSITY OF COLORADO, PHILIP


DISTEFANO, JOHN GRIFFIN

MAURA CLARE
Denver, Colorado

(b) County of Residence of First Listed Plaintiff

County of Residence of First Listed Defendant

(EXCEPT IN U.S. PLAINTIFF CASES)


NOTE:

(c) Attorneys (Firm Name, Address, and Telephone Number)

Boulder, Colorado

(IN U.S. PLAINTIFF CASES ONLY)


IN LAND CONDEMNATION CASES, USE THE LOCATION OF
THE TRACT OF LAND INVOLVED.

Attorneys (If Known)

John A. Culver, Theresa L. Corrada, Benezra & Culver, P.C.


633 17th St., Suite 2610, Denver, CO 80202
Telephone: (303)716-0254

II. BASIS OF JURISDICTION (Place an X in One Box Only)


u 1

U.S. Government
Plaintiff

u 3

Federal Question
(U.S. Government Not a Party)

u 2

U.S. Government
Defendant

u 4

Diversity
(Indicate Citizenship of Parties in Item III)

David Temple, University of Colorado Office of University Counsel Litigation, 1800 Grant St., Suite 700, Denver, CO 80203
Telephone: 303-860-5691

III. CITIZENSHIP OF PRINCIPAL PARTIES (Place an X in One Box for Plaintiff


(For Diversity Cases Only)
PTF
Citizen of This State
u 1

DEF
u 1

and One Box for Defendant)


PTF
DEF
Incorporated or Principal Place
u 4
u 4
of Business In This State

Citizen of Another State

u 2

Incorporated and Principal Place


of Business In Another State

u 5

u 5

Citizen or Subject of a
Foreign Country

u 3

Foreign Nation

u 6

u 6

IV. NATURE OF SUIT (Place an X in One Box Only)


CONTRACT
u
u
u
u
u
u
u

u
u
u
u
u

TORTS

110 Insurance
120 Marine
130 Miller Act
140 Negotiable Instrument
150 Recovery of Overpayment
& Enforcement of Judgment
151 Medicare Act
152 Recovery of Defaulted
Student Loans
(Excludes Veterans)
153 Recovery of Overpayment
of Veterans Benefits
160 Stockholders Suits
190 Other Contract
195 Contract Product Liability
196 Franchise

u
u
u
u
u
u
u
u
u
u

u
u
u
u
u
u

REAL PROPERTY
210 Land Condemnation
220 Foreclosure
230 Rent Lease & Ejectment
240 Torts to Land
245 Tort Product Liability
290 All Other Real Property

u
u
u
u
u
u
u

PERSONAL INJURY
310 Airplane
315 Airplane Product
Liability
320 Assault, Libel &
Slander
330 Federal Employers
Liability
340 Marine
345 Marine Product
Liability
350 Motor Vehicle
355 Motor Vehicle
Product Liability
360 Other Personal
Injury
362 Personal Injury Medical Malpractice
CIVIL RIGHTS
440 Other Civil Rights
441 Voting
442 Employment
443 Housing/
Accommodations
445 Amer. w/Disabilities Employment
446 Amer. w/Disabilities Other
448 Education

FORFEITURE/PENALTY

PERSONAL INJURY
u 365 Personal Injury Product Liability
u 367 Health Care/
Pharmaceutical
Personal Injury
Product Liability
u 368 Asbestos Personal
Injury Product
Liability
PERSONAL PROPERTY
u 370 Other Fraud
u 371 Truth in Lending
u 380 Other Personal
Property Damage
u 385 Property Damage
Product Liability
PRISONER PETITIONS
Habeas Corpus:
u 463 Alien Detainee
u 510 Motions to Vacate
Sentence
u 530 General
u 535 Death Penalty
Other:
u 540 Mandamus & Other
u 550 Civil Rights
u 555 Prison Condition
u 560 Civil Detainee Conditions of
Confinement

u 625 Drug Related Seizure


of Property 21 USC 881
u 690 Other

BANKRUPTCY
u 422 Appeal 28 USC 158
u 423 Withdrawal
28 USC 157
PROPERTY RIGHTS
u 820 Copyrights
u 830 Patent
u 840 Trademark

LABOR
u 710 Fair Labor Standards
Act
u 720 Labor/Management
Relations
u 740 Railway Labor Act
u 751 Family and Medical
Leave Act
u 790 Other Labor Litigation
u 791 Employee Retirement
Income Security Act

u
u
u
u
u

SOCIAL SECURITY
861 HIA (1395ff)
862 Black Lung (923)
863 DIWC/DIWW (405(g))
864 SSID Title XVI
865 RSI (405(g))

FEDERAL TAX SUITS


u 870 Taxes (U.S. Plaintiff
or Defendant)
u 871 IRSThird Party
26 USC 7609

IMMIGRATION
u 462 Naturalization Application
u 465 Other Immigration
Actions

OTHER STATUTES
u 375 False Claims Act
u 376 Qui Tam (31 USC
3729(a))
u 400 State Reapportionment
u 410 Antitrust
u 430 Banks and Banking
u 450 Commerce
u 460 Deportation
u 470 Racketeer Influenced and
Corrupt Organizations
u 480 Consumer Credit
u 490 Cable/Sat TV
u 850 Securities/Commodities/
Exchange
u 890 Other Statutory Actions
u 891 Agricultural Acts
u 893 Environmental Matters
u 895 Freedom of Information
Act
u 896 Arbitration
u 899 Administrative Procedure
Act/Review or Appeal of
Agency Decision
u 950 Constitutionality of
State Statutes

V. ORIGIN (Place an X in One Box Only)


u 1 Original
Proceeding

u 2 Removed from
State Court

u 3

Remanded from
Appellate Court

u 4 Reinstated or
Reopened

u 5 Transferred from
Another District
(specify)

u 6 Multidistrict
Litigation

Cite the U.S. Civil Statute under which you are filing (Do not cite jurisdictional statutes unless diversity):

Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42 U.S.C. sec. 2000e, et. seq

VI. CAUSE OF ACTION Brief description of cause:

"1%PDLFU

Employment discrimination and retaliation

u CHECK IF THIS IS A CLASS ACTION


VII. REQUESTED IN
UNDER RULE 23, F.R.Cv.P.
COMPLAINT:
VIII. RELATED CASE(S)
(See instructions):
IF ANY
JUDGE
DATE

CHECK YES only if demanded in complaint:


u Yes
u No
JURY DEMAND:

DEMAND $

500,000.00

DOCKET NUMBER

SIGNATURE OF ATTORNEY OF RECORD

s/John A. Culver

01/25/2017
FOR OFFICE USE ONLY
RECEIPT #

AMOUNT

APPLYING IFP

JUDGE

MAG. JUDGE

Case 1:17-cv-00221-MSK Document 1-1 Filed 01/25/17 USDC Colorado Page 2 of 2


JS 44 Reverse (Rev. 11/15)'LVWULFWRI&RORUDGR)RUP

INSTRUCTIONS FOR ATTORNEYS COMPLETING CIVIL COVER SHEET FORM JS 44


Authority For Civil Cover Sheet
The JS 44 civil cover sheet and the information contained herein neither replaces nor supplements the filings and service of pleading or other papers as
required by law, except as provided by local rules of court. This form, approved by the Judicial Conference of the United States in September 1974, is
required for the use of the Clerk of Court for the purpose of initiating the civil docket sheet. Consequently, a civil cover sheet is submitted to the Clerk of
Court for each civil complaint filed. The attorney filing a case should complete the form as follows:
I.(a)

(b)

(c)

Plaintiffs-Defendants. Enter names (last, first, middle initial) of plaintiff and defendant. If the plaintiff or defendant is a government agency, use
only the full name or standard abbreviations. If the plaintiff or defendant is an official within a government agency, identify first the agency and
then the official, giving both name and title.
County of Residence. For each civil case filed, except U.S. plaintiff cases, enter the name of the county where the first listed plaintiff resides at the
time of filing. In U.S. plaintiff cases, enter the name of the county in which the first listed defendant resides at the time of filing. (NOTE: In land
condemnation cases, the county of residence of the "defendant" is the location of the tract of land involved.)
Attorneys. Enter the firm name, address, telephone number, and attorney of record. If there are several attorneys, list them on an attachment, noting
in this section "(see attachment)".

II.

Jurisdiction. The basis of jurisdiction is set forth under Rule 8(a), F.R.Cv.P., which requires that jurisdictions be shown in pleadings. Place an "X"
in one of the boxes. If there is more than one basis of jurisdiction, precedence is given in the order shown below.
United States plaintiff. (1) Jurisdiction based on 28 U.S.C. 1345 and 1348. Suits by agencies and officers of the United States are included here.
United States defendant. (2) When the plaintiff is suing the United States, its officers or agencies, place an "X" in this box.
Federal question. (3) This refers to suits under 28 U.S.C. 1331, where jurisdiction arises under the Constitution of the United States, an amendment
to the Constitution, an act of Congress or a treaty of the United States. In cases where the U.S. is a party, the U.S. plaintiff or defendant code takes
precedence, and box 1 or 2 should be marked.
Diversity of citizenship. (4) This refers to suits under 28 U.S.C. 1332, where parties are citizens of different states. When Box 4 is checked, the
citizenship of the different parties must be checked. (See Section III below; NOTE: federal question actions take precedence over diversity
cases.)

III.

Residence (citizenship) of Principal Parties. This section of the JS 44 is to be completed if diversity of citizenship was indicated above. Mark this
section for each principal party.

IV.

Nature of Suit. Place an "X" in the appropriate box. If the nature of suit cannot be determined, be sure the cause of action, in Section VI below, is
sufficient to enable the deputy clerk or the statistical clerk(s) in the Administrative Office to determine the nature of suit. If the cause fits more than
one nature of suit, select the most definitive.

V.

Origin. Place an "X" in one of the six boxes.


Original Proceedings. (1) Cases which originate in the United States district courts.
Removed from State Court. (2) Proceedings initiated in state courts may be removed to the district courts under Title 28 U.S.C., Section 1441.
When the petition for removal is granted, check this box.
Remanded from Appellate Court. (3) Check this box for cases remanded to the district court for further action. Use the date of remand as the filing
date.
Reinstated or Reopened. (4) Check this box for cases reinstated or reopened in the district court. Use the reopening date as the filing date.
Transferred from Another District. (5) For cases transferred under Title 28 U.S.C. Section 1404(a). Do not use this for within district transfers or
multidistrict litigation transfers.
Multidistrict Litigation. (6) Check this box when a multidistrict case is transferred into the district under authority of Title 28 U.S.C. Section 1407.
When this box is checked, do not check (5) above.

VI.

Cause of Action. Report the civil statute directly related to the cause of action and give a brief description of the cause. Do not cite jurisdictional
statutes unless diversity. Example: U.S. Civil Statute: 47 USC 553 Brief Description: Unauthorized reception of cable service25$3'RFNHW

VII.

Requested in Complaint. Class Action. Place an "X" in this box if you are filing a class action under Rule 23, F.R.Cv.P.
Demand. In this space enter the actual dollar amount being demanded or indicate other demand, such as a preliminary injunction.
Jury Demand. Check the appropriate box to indicate whether or not a jury is being demanded.

VIII. Related Cases. This section of the JS 44 is used to reference related pending cases, if any. If there are related pending cases, insert the docket
numbers and the corresponding judge names for such cases.
Date and Attorney Signature. Date and sign the civil cover sheet.