MINNEAPOLIS -- The Jacksonville Jaguars and a Minneapolis hotel settled a sex discrimination complaint by a female security officer who claimed the team and hotel refused to let her work on a floor the team occupied.
According to a complaint filed with the state Department of Human Rights, Kathryn Gruenhagen was working on a floor of the Minneapolis Marriott Hotel on Dec. 22, 2001, when she was told to leave because the team wanted male security officers.
The team was in Minneapolis for a game against the Minnesota Vikings.
When she complained, the hotel manager allegedly told her she would not be permitted to work that evening "for her own protection," the Human Rights Department said. She was told she would be paid for the evening.
The department found there was probable cause to believe the Jaguars and the hotel discriminated against Gruenhagen because of her sex.
Marriott International, Inc., agreed to pay Gruenhagen $45,000. The Jaguars agreed to pay her $30,000.
The settlement does not constitute an admission of any liability, an admission of a violation of the Minnesota Human Rights act or any law, or an admission of wrongdoing on the part of the hotel or the team, the department said.
"The idea that professional football players will be distracted by the mere presence of a hotel worker who happens to be female, and that a woman who is simply there to do her job must be sent home for her own protection from these athletes, is one that should make even the most staunch NFL fans uneasy," said Human Rights Commissioner Velma Korbel.