Judge dismisses former coaches' discrimination claims against University of Minnesota Duluth


April 23, 2021

Richard Tsong-Taatarii - Star Tribune

FILE - At the law offices of Fafinski Mark & Johnson in 2015, former UMD women's basketball coach Annette Wiles, softball coach Jen Banford, and hockey coach Shannon Miller announce they are bringing suit against the Board of Regents of the University of Minnesota.

DULUTH – A federal judge Thursday dismissed claims filed by two former women's athletic coaches against the University of Minnesota Duluth, granting a summary judgment to the university.

U.S. District Judge Patrick Schiltz made the ruling in the lawsuit filed by Jen Banford and Annette Wiles. Banford had been both a softball coach and operations director for the UMD women's hockey team and Wiles had coached women's basketball.

Wiles and Banford say they were subjected to a hostile work environment and discrimination on the basis of their sexual orientation. Schiltz dismissed the claims in February 2018, but the case resumed following a U.S. Supreme Court ruling in June 2020 on protections for gay, lesbian and transgender people under the Civil Rights Act of 1964.



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