A lesbian basketball coach is suing her former employer, after claiming she was fired for being gay.
Courtney Graham was a women’s basketball assistant at Drake University, until she was asked to resign without reason in May 2015, according to the New York Post.
She is now suing the university as well as Bulldogs coach Jennie Baranczyk, claiming they forcer her to resign after it became public she was lesbian.
In November 2014, Graham brought her wife, then still her girlfriend, to a home game.
In her federal lawsuit, the former coach alledges Baranczyk started stripping her of her duties as assistant head coach.
She also alledges she was left out of team meetings and scouting trips, and faced ‘hostile interactions’ at work.
‘After discovery of plaintiff’s sexual orientation, she was subjected to hostile interactions on the job,’ the lawsuit says.
‘And the subject of inter-office slander, speculation and gossip related to her sexual orientation.’
Baranczyk allegedly also told her colleague she ‘was not acting like herself’, the New York Post quotes, and forced Graham to take time off work shortly after her sexual orientation was made public.
When she was asked to resign, Graham first refused, but subsequently says she resigned three weeks later, under duress.
Her lawsuit alleges discrimination based on sexual orientation, as well as two counts of retaliation, negligence, intentional infliction of emotional distress and harassment.
On Wednesday (28 December), Drake released a statement denying the allegations.
‘Drake University and head women’s basketball coach Jennie Baranczyk have a strong commitment to diversity, tolerance and non-discrimination,’ it reads.
‘Consistent with university policy regarding personnel matters and out of respect to the parties involved, we will not provide further comment.’
According to the university, Graham made similar claims in a complaint to the Iowa Civil Rights Commission.
The commission dismissed her complaint at the time and, according to CBS Philly, said it ‘didn’t believe that further investigation would reveal that Graham was discriminated against.’