Thursday, October 02, 2008

Retaliation Case Filed Against Texas Southern University

Another coach has sued her former employer alleging that she was fired in retaliation for speaking out against Title IX violations.

Surina Dixon has sued Texas Southern University, alleging that they fired her from the head women's basketball coach position to which she had recently been hired after she insisted on contract terms equivalent to that of the newly hired men's basketball coach. Specifically, she protested the one-year contract she was awarded, pointing out that the men's basketball coach who had less coaching experience than Dixon had a five year contract and a salary twice as high as hers. She further pointed out that TSU's NCAA Gender Equity Self-Study had revealed this to be part of a pattern of discrimination against female coaches. Moreover, she argues, the fact the Athletic Director justified the one-year contract term by telling her she had to "prove herself" bolsters her claim of a sexist double standard.

Dixon alleges that the Athletic Director fired her based on her rejection of the employment contract offered by the university. Dixon insists that she did not reject the agreement, she protested its discriminatory terms, and is thus protected against retaliation under Title IX. She has sued to recover lost wages and other nonmonetary damages.