Van-Lear Eckert
Experienced Southern Illinois Attorney
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Cheerleading coach alleges sex discrimination, retaliation

| Jan 6, 2018 | Employment Law |

Playing a high school sport can teach students teamwork, diligence and respect. Unfortunately, sometimes coaching a high school sport can present difficulties. For example, an Illinois high school cheerleading coach who was fired from her job is claiming that her termination was retaliatory. She also alleges that she was the victim of sexual discrimination in the workplace.

The woman, age 29, was accused of sending an inappropriate text message containing the word “bitch,” to a student. The woman claims that she sent the text to both the student and the student’s parent at the same time, and the use of the word “bitch,” was used by both students and their parents as a description of last year’s season, which did not go well.

The woman claims that in firing her for this text message, the school districted treated her in a manner that was different from the way that male workers were treated by the school district. For example, according to the woman, a male teacher said things that were vulgar and threatening to a student, but did not face any disciplinary action for it.

The woman also claims that she was let go after formally complaining about sexual harassment. She had filed two such claims with the school district in September 2017. The woman claims that an administrator made inappropriate sexual remarks to her more than once. She claims the firing was in retaliation for her claims.

Time will tell how this woman’s case will play out. What one can take from it, however, is that there are steps that can be taken if a worker in Illinois believes they were the victim of sexual harassment or wrongful termination. Those who want more information about what their options are in such situations are encouraged to seek legal advice from an employment law attorney.

Source: Chicago Tribune, “Ex-cheerleading coach claims firing after text to student was retaliatory, alleges sexual discrimination,” Zak Koeske, Dec. 15, 2017