Allegations of violations of employment law and sexual harassment are taken very seriously in Louisiana with any job. Those who are alleged to have taken part in violations will invariably issue a denial and try to protect their jobs and reputations. However, employers must also protect themselves. This is particularly true when it is a school of higher learning that is embroiled in the situation. Any public entity that is dealing with employees having allegations of violating employment law must ensure they are protected by having a law firm that is experienced in helping with protecting their interests.
A former college softball coach is alleged to have committed numerous violations while on the job. A report by the school states that the coach violated school policies related to harassment, sexual misconduct and battery. It also says that he tried to create a code of silence within the team to prevent outsiders from finding out the inner workings of the team. That included parents and school administrators.
In addition, he demanded access to the players’ personal accounts such as email. The coach was dismissed after complaints were lodged. He responded by accusing the school of creating a fraudulent investigation. The coach was accused of verbally and psychologically abusing players. He is also said to have taken part in unwanted physical contact including pulling hair. He denies this. Some players gave statements in support of the coach. He is alleged to have told a player to hang herself and that he made a rape reference regarding a poor performance by his team.
This might normally be perceived as an employer taking steps to stop a rogue employee from continuing to commit violations of the code of conduct by dismissing him. However, the former coach has hired an attorney and is being outspoken about his innocence indicating that an extended protest as to his firing is possible along with a potential lawsuit against the school. The school and any other entity that has fired an employee for various violations must keep its own interests in mind. Formulating a cogent defense that is based on employer rights is essential when dealing with dismissals. Having a law form that looks at circumstances from the employer defense perspective can help.
Source: theadvocate.com, “UL-Lafayette report: Softball coach sought ‘secrecy and authority’ over players, abuse alleged,” Ben Myers, Nov. 16, 2017