Baseball Coach Claims Firing Was Retaliation

Aug 23, 2005

The former head baseball coach of Lakeland College has filed a formal complaint with the State of Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development’s Equal Rights Division, claiming that the college and its AD discriminated against his assistant coach and then fired him after he stood up for the assistant coach.
John Weber alleged that the impetus for the action was a series of meetings he had with AD Jane Bouche in July 2004 concerning the termination of Assistant Baseball Coach John Govek. In his complaint, Weber alleged that Bouche discriminated against Govek “because of a disability or perceived disability — obesity.”
Further along in his complaint, Weber charged that “Lakeland College unlawfully terminated Mr. Weber’s employment in retaliation for his opposition to a discriminatory practice,” and that the college “violated the Wisconsin Fair Employment Act … and the Americans with Disability Act.”
Lakeland College has denied all the allegations in its 11-page answer to the Department of Workforce Development.
However, Bouche did admit raising a question about Govek’s physical readiness and “whether he would be capable of the intense exercise required of those coaching cross country, which based on her own personal experience as a prior cross country coach, typically involved running considerable distances between distance markers in a short period of time.”
Further, the college claimed that Weber’s “demeanor and tone in addressing his reporting senior, Ms. Bouche, in the presence of other college officials, became even more demeaning, derogatory, insubordinate and disparaging of her position and authority.”
The college further cited a number of disciplinary issues involving Weber dating back to 2002.


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