Appeals Court Rules|for School over Coach

(CN) – The University of Miami’s former women’s basketball coach did not prove that the university discriminated against her when it bought out her contact, a Florida appeals court ruled.

     Ferne Labati sued the university for age and gender discrimination. The lower court granted summary judgment to the university; Judge Wells of the Miami-based appeals court affirmed.
     “Once the university presented legitimate, nondiscriminatory reasons for its actions, the burden shifted back to Labati to demonstrate that the employer’s articulated reasons for the adverse employment action were a mere pretext for discrimination,” Wells wrote.
     While Labati did not meet that burden, she did persuade Wells that the trial court abused its discretion by awarding attorney fees to the university. Her case was not found to be “frivolous, unreasonable, or without foundation.”
     Labati is the winningest coach in Miami University women’s basketball history. She now coaches at Seton Hill University in suburban Pittsburgh.

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