UNC employee Bobbie Sanders accused the University of discriminating against her based on age and sex in June 2000. Sanders is a computing consultant in research services who was not promoted to the vacant position of computer consultant IV.
The promotion instead was given to a younger man, Andy Johns, who is now assistant director of operations for the Office of Technology Development.
Mark Crowell, director of the Office of Technology Development, hired Johns based on his interview, application, references and qualifications, according to the Chatham County judge's ruling -- the case's most recent ruling -- filed Oct. 1.
The case first went to court in June 2001, a year after the claim was made. An administrative law judge, Sammie Chess, made a recommended ruling in favor of Sanders.
Chess recommended that Sanders be placed in the position and receive back pay for time since she did not receive the position.
This initial decision was overturned by the State Personnel Commission, which claimed both that Chess had made many errors and denied that the University had discriminated against Sanders because of her age and sex.
Sanders' lawyer, Al McSurely, appealed this decision in April, arguing that the commission also made errors and did not adequately justify its decision.
Sanders argued in her lawsuit that the commission did not "state with the required specificity the reasons why it did not adopt the administrative law judge's recommended decision."
She also stated that the commission's decision was "arbitrary and capricious, and contained findings of facts and conclusions of law, which were unsupported by substantial evidence."