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Alleged civil rights violation sparks lawsuit against college

Employment litigation can come about for numerous reasons and some of the most damaging to a Louisiana business or institution are when there are allegations of discrimination. For an employer confronted with allegations of civil rights violations and a dismissal or refusal to hire someone because of religious reasons, it can cause long-term problems if they do not lodge a strong defense. Having a law firm that is experienced in employment law is integral to crafting a defense against these allegations.

A football coach who applied for a job at a Baptist college in Louisiana is alleging that the president of the school refused to allow his hiring because the coach has "Jewish blood." The coach, 28, filed a lawsuit against the school and its president saying that his civil rights were violated. The coach had attended the school and applied to be the team's defensive backs coach. After being interviewed and recommended for the job by the head coach, he was informed of the refusal to hire him because he is Jewish. He took a job in Arkansas for less money than he would have gotten in the job in Louisiana.

The plaintiff was born to a Jewish family, but converted to Christianity when attending the school. He had been hired as an assistant after he graduated from the college in 2013, but departed to seek a graduate degree and for a coaching job at a school in Missouri. He resigned when he believed he was set to get a job at his alma mater. He was asked about his faith during the interview. The school had been subject to a previous lawsuit when the current president's predecessor stated that he was discriminated against because of his religion.

When hiring a person in a specific endeavor such as a football coach, there are many factors that come into play. While this case centers around allegations on the part of the coach that he was not hired because of the religion he was born into, that does not necessarily mean the assertions are true, nor that this was the only reason he was not hired. When there are accusations of civil rights violations and it results in employment litigation, the accused must defend itself against the charges not just as a protective device in the current case, but to shield its reputation. Having a law firm that specializes in employment defense is crucial to fighting the charges.

Source: espn.com, "Lawsuit: Louisiana College refused to hire coach with 'Jewish blood'," Feb. 22, 2018

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