Editor's note: this story was updated on May 5 to reflect that UO eliminated Monica Bray's position and did not fire her.
The University of Oregon agreed to a $200,000 settlement with Monica Bray, a former UO associate dean who alleged whistleblower retaliation in a lawsuit filed last year.
Bray signed the settlement agreement on Feb. 20 and the university followed three days later, according to documents obtained by The Emerald. After taxes and attorney fees, Bray will receive $100,000 as compensation for general damages.
She will also receive the cash value of six months of continued health benefits at 2020 rates, the settlement agreement stated. The university will otherwise have no financial obligations to Bray.
The settlement required that Bray file a mutual agreement to dismiss the lawsuit with prejudice, meaning she can’t file another suit on the same grounds. Lane County Circuit Court Judge Suzanne Chanti dismissed the case with prejudice on March 24, according to the judgement of dismissal.
Bray filed the lawsuit on June 22, 2020, alleging an antagonistic work environment that led to her developing a chronic voice disorder. According to her complaint, the conflicts stemmed from her reporting what she believed to be discriminatory admission practices by the Lundquist College of Business.
The complaint alleged that LCB leadership issued pretextual performance evaluations to “fabricate colorable grounds to discipline” Bray and the university terminated her on March 3, 2020 in retaliation for her whistleblowing.
UO denied the allegations that the performance evaluations or her termination were retaliatory in a court filing, stating it eliminated her position as part of a reorganization within the LCB "that, among other things, shifted focus to developing the College’s undergraduate and specialized master’s programs."
According to the settlement agreement, the performance evaluations mentioned in Bray’s complaint will be removed from her personnel file and moved to a separate file in the labor relations department. Bray will remain in the officer of administration re-employment pool for a year.
The agreement stated that the settlement was made “for the sole purpose of resolving fully and finally all claims related to [Bray’s] employment with the university,” and that this is not an admission of liability of fault by UO or Bray.