The Tampa Bay Lightning is dealing with a civil claim filed by a former women’s hockey coach. The plaintiff states she was fired from her job as a youth hockey coach and as part of the Lightning’s community outreach program after she reported sexual assault and harassment by one of the hockey team’s executives. The alleged incident took place on a company trip.
In her lawsuit, she is demanding the Florida hockey organization pay her for lost wages after her termination and damages for mental duress she experienced. She also wants to be reinstated in her previous job with the Lightning. Her lawsuit claims she was subjected to various discriminatory and harassing behaviors because of her gender since the beginning of her employment with the team in 2016.
No charges have been filed against the individual mentioned in the claim as the perpetrator, but the claimant did file complaints with both the the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and the Florida Commission on Human Relations. After filing a formal complaint against the man who harassed her, she says the company fired her for violation of company policies. She believes her termination was retaliation for coming forward about what happened to her.
Sexual assault and harassment of any form are unacceptable in any type of workplace. An employee has the right to speak out about the treatment he or she experienced without fear of continued harassment or termination. To protect a victim’s rights, it is helpful to work with an experienced attorney who knows how to proceed in the pursuit of justice.