Some people believe that wrongful termination only occurs in particular industries, however, nothing could be further from the truth. This unfortunate situation can happen within any company or organization, at any time.
Beth Burns, the former women’s basketball coach at San Diego State University, has filed a lawsuit against the California State University system for wrongful termination.
In April 2013, Burns, 55, decided to retire from her position at the school after 16 years. In her claim, she notes she was given several options by the school’s athletic director, including resignation, retirement or termination. Additionally, the claim states she had to make a choice for allegedly hitting a subordinate during a game in February of the same year.
In July, it was reported that the incident in question involved Burns smacking a clipboard that was resting on the lap of an assistant coach, while also elbowing the same coach during another game. This coach has since left the school to pursue other opportunities, but received a $250,000 settlement on his way out the door, which was more than three times his annual salary. The school declined to include any information on why the coach was awarded such a large settlement.
In the claim, Burns makes it clear in her belief she was fired for demands that would put the women’s basketball team and men’s athletics on an equal playing field. Along with this, the claim says she regularly complained about the athletic department’s treatment of the women’s basketball team.
This is an interesting case that has already taken many twists and turns. In addition to the claim brought forward by Burns, there is the situation involving a former assistant coach. This wrongful termination lawsuit will continue to develop in the months to come.
UT San Diego, “Burns files wrongful termination claim” Mark Zeigler, Oct. 14, 2013