Man claims fired agency director paid him less than women

January 22, 2020 GMT

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — A state employee at the Iowa Finance Authority is suing the state for wage discrimination and sex discrimination, alleging the agency’s fired former director paid women significantly more than him.

Steve Ferguson, 68, said in court documents filed Monday in state court that former IFA Director David Jamison got him hired in 2012 as director of the Iowa Agricultural Development Authority.

After becoming smitten with women in Ferguson’s office, Jamison convinced the state to make the agriculture development office an agency under Jamison’s management, Ferguson claims.


Jamison then offered two women who worked for Ferguson jobs paying thousands of dollars more than Ferguson was offered. One woman got a 21 percent pay raise while Ferguson took a pay cut from the $92,000 he made as head of the Agriculture Development Authority to less than $59,000.

Jamison, a long-time friend of Gov. Kim Reynolds, was fired by her in March 2018 after allegations of sexual harassment by female employees.

Ferguson said in the lawsuit, which names the IFA and the state, that the pay differential continues. He wants a pay adjustment and compensation for damages, including emotional distress, lost wages and employment benefits.

An Iowa attorney general spokesman declined Wednesday to comment on the lawsuit.