Former Coach Sues University of Minnesota Duluth Over Discrimination
A former athletics coach at the University of Minnesota Duluth (UMD) has sued the school and Board of Regents for fostering a culture of sexual harassment and gender discrimination, the Duluth News Tribune reported.
Earlier this week, Joanna Warmington, 47, a UMD’s cross country and track and field coach filed a pair lawsuits in a state and federal court alleging university of giving lesser pay to its female staff, allowing a hostile work environment.
Warmington tendered resignation in August 2018 after alleging school violating various NCAA and Title IX rules.
Earlier, the Office of Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action investigated Warmington following complaints of jeopardizing the well being of athletes. The report alleged Warmington of sexual harassment in violation of University policy.
The report had concluded that “Ms. Warmington’s conduct was unwelcome because it was unsolicited, made multiple student-athletes feel uncomfortable, and taken together, created an unwelcome sexualized environment in which some student-athletes felt compelled to tolerate unwanted conduct of a sexual nature in order to maintain a positive relationship with their coach.”
However, Warmington in her lawsuit alleged the university of defamation and violating her rights.
“UMD administration could have simply chosen to not renew my contract. Instead, they chose to defame me and violate my due process rights in order to punish me for my knowledge of NCAA violations and raising with them the inequity of how my program and athletes were treated,“ Warmington said in a statement.
“They then tried to silence me with the threat that the investigation’s findings would be publicly released if I did not sign a confidential settlement agreement – where they would coopt me to agree to waive my rights to bring future claims. I am not scared of what they will say about me – for both they and I know the truth.”
She is seeking attorney fees, back pay, front pay, damages for emotional distress and compensatory damages.