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Soccer Coach Discrimination

Billings, MT: (Oct-17-07) LeAnne Wickun, a teacher and former Billings Senior High girls' soccer coach, brought a federal lawsuit against the school district, alleging that the district discriminated against her because of her gender. The federal lawsuit was filed in July 2006, but the dispute stems from a December 2004 incident, when Wickun was asked to resign as soccer coach. Wickun, who had been coaching since 1999, refused. The following spring, when a one-year contract was considered, the district hired a man who was not a teacher in the district to replace her. Wickun filed a complaint with the state Human Rights Bureau alleging gender discrimination, but an investigator found insufficient evidence to support the claim.

At about the same time, the Billings Education Association successfully filed a grievance on Wickun's behalf, and in 2006 she was reinstated to the coaching position with back pay. As part of a settlement reached, the district approved of paying Wickun $50,000 to resolve allegations. Sources claimed that provisions were made under the deal that would protect the district and its employees from similar claims in the future. [GREAT FALLS TRIBUNE: SOCCER COACH DISCRIMINATION]

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Published on Oct-19-07


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