The holiday firing of University of Minnesota Duluth’s women’s ice hockey coach has brought a spotlight onto the plight of female coaches in college athletics. Shannon Miller, a medal-winning Olympic coach and five-time NCAA national championship-winning coach was notified that her contract would not be renewed at the end of this current season, because the school believed her salary was too high. The men’s hockey coach, a man with less success and a higher salary, still sits comfortably with his job.
Several lawsuits have been filed in the last decade for similar cases. Most of those have ended in settlements in favor of the plaintiff. Miller has not stated whether or not she plans to file a lawsuit, but given the precedent set by female coaches in previous cases, it would be wise of her to do so.
Lesbian coaches like Miller are often dealt the worst hand in college athletics. Whether the discrimination is blatant or hidden, lesbian coaches face the hostility of athletic directors who are seemingly waiting for an excuse to let the coach go. Lesbian coaches face a triple-pronged threat, the intersection of misogyny, sexism and homophobia.
I Was Fired Because of My Gender and Sexual Orientation. Can I File a Discrimination Lawsuit?
Employment discrimination on the basis of gender and sexual orientation is illegal in the state of California. The Los Angeles employment attorneys at Kesluk, Silverstein & Jacob encourage you to contact us if you feel that you have been discriminated against. We understand the need to feel safe and comfortable in the workplace, and can help you receive compensation for your employer’s unjust discrimination. Contact us at (310) 273-3180 for a free consultation.
Kesluk, Silverstein & Jacob – Los Angeles Employment and Labor Law Attorneys
Did You Know? In 1994, Minnesota became the first state to sanction girls’ hockey as a high school varsity sport, according to usahockey.com.