Judge doubles damages against University of Minnesota in golf coach case

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in Discrimination and Harassment,Human Resources

A long-running legal battle between a former women’s golf coach and the University of Minnesota has taken another turn. According to the golf coach’s attorney, problems began when the head of the university’s golf program found out that the new women’s coach was gay.

The female coach’s complaint details her frosty reception when she arrived on campus. The golf program director informed her that she would not be permitted to travel with the team to an upcoming tournament. Emails to team members were limited to one per day. She was forbidden to train the team.

After demoting her from women’s coach to an administrative role with the men’s team, the director allegedly said, “Did you really think I would let you travel alone with those five girls?” When she complained to the administration about her demotion, she was given the option of taking a severance package or a position selling tickets to football games. She rejected the offer and resigned.

The case went to trial last fall, the coach won and the judge calculated her lost wages at $167,294. Because the university first refused to produce text messages related to the lawsuit and then destroyed them, the judge then doubled the damages.

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