Dismissed U of L assistant knew how to work the system

Some writers with an unbridled sense of loyalty to the University of Kentucky have opted to make a big deal of a $371,000 judgment against the University of Louisville, as a result of lawsuit filed by a former female track assistant fired by the Athletic Department.

Mary Banker, now reportedly working as a waitress.

  • The jury rejected her claim that she was working in a hostile workplace.
  • The judge threw out her claim of gender discrimination.

In other words, the trial determined she was not a victim of sexual harassment.

I was disappointed that Larry Vaught, a columnist with the Danville Advocate, would turn his space over to an aspiring writer to lump this case in with a myriad of other issues, implying that Tom Jurich was somehow at fault. Link

Not very surprising was that a local lawyer with a UK blog would attack the local media for not reporting on a “sexual harassment” lawsuit. Where did he get his law degree anyway?

Eric Crawford does his customary great job of putting things in perspective on his blog. He does, however, give too much credence to her argument of male athletes sometimes being compared to parts of the female anatomy. And if suggesting that someone make cookies or coffee is sometimes helpful, so be it, male or female. [Crawford’s post was removed from the web site by the Courier-Journal when he left the newspaper in 2012.]

What it boiled down to was how Banker was managed after filing a complaint with the U of L’s Human Resources Department. The Athletic Department terminated her a while later. As a result, some interpret the dismissal as a response to her complaint.

If there was a mistake on U of L’s part, it was not in firing her long before she went to the Human Resources Department. A crafty tactical move on her part.

She knows how to work the system. [Or maybe not. The financial judgment was later overturned by an appeals court.]

Author: Charlie Springer

Charlie Springer is a former Louisville editor and sportswriter, as well as a public affairs consultant, a UofL grad and longtime fan.

2 thoughts on “Dismissed U of L assistant knew how to work the system”

  1. Charlie, you make some great points. Juries tend to overcompensate on the “mental and emotional distress” aspect of things and considering at worst Banker was fired for complaining, methinks UL stands a good chance having the verdict reduced on appeal. Some of the claims were laughable such as having a problem with the male athletes being called “Sally”.

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