Reminder: Argos are the bad guys

Most of us on this board are well aware that the Argos represent the forces of darkness in the CFL. But sometimes it’s fun to have our views reaffirmed.

Athletic therapist claimed she was fired by Toronto Argos because she’s a woman
http://www.thestar.com/sports/article/1118945–athletic-therapist-claimed-she-was-fired-by-toronto-argos-because-she-s-a-woman

A former athletic therapist with the Toronto Argonauts who sued the team for wrongful dismissal accuses the club’s general manager Jim Barker of calling all women “b!tches? and saying he would not be comfortable working with female head therapists because they would “mother? players.

love how you quote only the most ridiculous part of the article instead of the actual reason she was fired.
this is clearly a case of a disgruntled ex-employee attempting to make their former employer look bad ( and make some money doing it ).

how many times has a female been fired, only to then claim she was sexually harrassed by her employer?
how many times has a woman been dumped, only to then claim she dumped him, and go on to spread humiliating lies about her ex?

this whole story is in the same category, as far as i'm concerned.

I'm not sayin that her allegations are truthful, but, if that was the case, why did it take so long for Barker to act.

The CEO of the organization, Clemons' statement, when he was head coach, totally contradicts what Barker was saying.

She MAY have made a mistake in the Chad Owens situation, but if I had a nickel for every bone headed decsion made by Barker over his tenure with this team, personnel and game, I could buy a villa in Spain.

The fact that she has a spotless record; Barker's loose cannon comments about women therapists and the team's willingness to settle out of court for such an amount tells me that she is truthful and this sham of an organization knows it.

What cowards, and what a disgusting way to treat an employee.

The plaintiff could also seek retribution through the Human Rights Commission. Barker would be asked to explain his unwanted comments. The Ar&%) would be on the hook for the final award from the Commission as well. The fact this incident was settled out of court cleraly indicates Barker and The Ars@H*&^ had no other choice and finally pay her the money. Welcome to 2012 Mr Barker..............pantload

It's not possible to know what Barker actually said. What is in the article are statements she alleges he made.

We don't know how much the claim was settled for. She sued for $975,000, but the terms of the actual settlement are not known.

The team may have paid her because they know they did something wrong and would be likely to lose more if the case went to court, or they may have paid her to avoid the time, trouble and bad press associated with continuing a lawsuit. Only the parties know the actual facts, and the terms of the settlement. It is usual in these cases to include in the settlement agreement a clause requiring non-disclosure of its terms.

Seems like a pretty straight forward wrongful dismissal.

They should pay.

I understand what you're saying, Steve, but if the Argo organization honestly felt that her allegations were wrong, I'm sure they would not want them to stand up and slag them (Argos), and would fight to be sure that there was a clear understanding as to what happened. After all, they are trying to get support from the public to come back to their games and they are hosting the Grey cup this year. This doesn't look good on them.

I don't doubt at all that Barker made those statements...

[b]"During the 2010 training camp, Barker told at least two other Argos employees that he wasn’t comfortable with a woman as head athletic trainer.

“It was his opinion that (a woman) would be too ‘soft’ with the players and would be inclined to ‘mother’ them,? Brooks’s lawsuit says."[/b]

She also seems like a skilled hard worker and rose up the organization pretty quickly....

[b]"Brooks, a York University graduate, started volunteering with the Argos in June 2000 and was hired as their head athletic therapist two years later. Managing a team of three assistants, she was responsible for the health and conditioning of Argos players.

Before she was fired on Dec. 14, 2010, Brooks was the only female head athletic therapist in North American professional sports, her lawsuit said. During her tenure with the team, Brooks designed food menus for players and introduced to the team some non-traditional healing techniques, such as cranialsacral therapy (CST), which focuses on the fluid that surrounds the brain and spinal cord."[/b]

"In 2004, former Argos coach Michael Clemons said he called Brooks the Canadian Football League team’s “First Lady? and praised her organizational skills. “You really don’t realize that she’s a female and that’s the best compliment you can make,? Clemons said at the time."

And after being such a good employee, this is the way they treated her in the end....

[b]"On Dec. 14, 2010, Brooks was fired without any prior warning.

“Brooks’s employment record with the Argonauts was unblemished,? her statement of claim says. “She had never received any discipline, coaching or negative feedback on her job performance. Accordingly, her sudden dismissal came as a complete shock to her.?

After her firing, Brooks contacted Nicholson to seek an explanation. She was told it had been a “football operations decision.?[/b]

And....

"He (Barker) has since given up the head coach position and the Argos have hired a new male head athletic therapist."

Even if this is a co-incidence, it's not good optics to the public.

I say, after reading this, she has a darned good case. Female or not, that's not the way you treat someone whose been loyal and given you so much effort for close to 12 years.

On a story like that the reported would have double checked everything and it looks like he had the affidavids of her two co-workers in hand.

The money she sued for is standard fair: Her wages for 15 years. While she likely didn't get that, the settlement would at least be lost earnings and the difference between what she is making now and her Argo wages for that period. Still could be anywhere from 100k to 300k. I can't imagine Mr. Braley was happy to write that cheque or reading this in his Sunday paper.

If she elects to go to Human Rights Tribunal. Any fines there are not be paid to her but could still be many thousands and the cost of that are often paid for by organisation or unions.

It will be interesting to see how much legs this will have. Barker may have won the battle but I have a feeling it will cost him the war... For someone to come in an oganisation and demand an employee with 10 years of loyal service some of it through some very tough times ... be fired, especialy in a "medical trade" where he has ZERO competency is wrong.

Strike two for Barker.... First he goes along with a coordinator breaking his contract and now this. Good luck to him he'lll need it.

I quoted the first paragraph of the article, which is generally the spot where the reporter summarizes the essence of the story. I felt this was enough info to help people decide whether to click on the link (which I provided) and read more. I did not attempt to present the rest of the story, since it’s available in the article.

As for the “actual reason” she was fired, we’re all at a bit of a disadvantage here, since the Argos are not commenting. We are left with the uncontested claims of the ex-employee, claims which apparently had at least some merit since her case was settled. Saying it was a “football operations decision” is equivalent to saying nothing at all. It’s corporate-speak for “I’m not going to tell you why we’re firing you because I’m trying to cover my butt.” If you’re saying it’s because she ran onto the field to help an injured player, that’s a heck of a reason to fire an athletic therapist. And it sounds like it was just an excuse to bring up the gender issue which had bothered Barker all along.

Re the reminder: No excrement, Sherlock...

;) :D :D :D

Oski Wee Wee,

Russ

Oldfan, I know what you're saying too, and there are lots of comments about various aspects of Barker's behaviour in the piece. But as we both know, allegations are not the same as facts. Plaintiffs naturally aggrandize and dramatize their allegations and their financial claims hugely in the statement of claim in order to intimidate the employer into settling for a large amount. Sometimes that works, but it doesn't always, and it certainly doesn't prove that the allegations are accurate. The facts have a way of being a bit muddy, unclear, and lying somewhere in-between the allegations of the plaintiff and the position of the defence.

I sure don't put an excess of stock in what a reporter says. His sources may be good and highly reliable, they may be less than that. They are certainly not "affidavits" as HfxTc suggested.

The point we don't agree on is the likely position of the team in the case where they might have a good defence. While they might well want to take the approach you suggest and defend vigorously to avoid having their reputation sullied, it is also very common to pay the plaintiff "go away money" to get rid of a case-- sometimes dragging a case out in court is worse PR for the employer than a quick resolution, regardless of the outcome. Smart employers rarely want to escalate these things into a public airing of laundry or a continuing he-said, she-said debate. It's usually better to settle the case and go about your business. I imagine the Argos' lawyers pointed this out. Good lawyers would. It's a fallacy that the lawyers will rub their hands in glee and argue the client should go to trial. Look at this case... what's happened? One article and a bit of discussion on a football forum. Now it's been settled, I'm sure neither party will comment further, and that will be that. Nothing much in the way of major loss of business goodwill.

HfxTc suggests that suing for 15 years pay is standard fare in a wrongful dismissal case. Maybe...you can sue for whatever you want, outlandish or reasonable. What you'll get is a different matter. And you sure won't get 15 years pay. No way in the world. Typically, damages equivalent to about a month's pay per year of service would be awarded in a wrongful dismissal case, often to a maximum of about a year's pay, depending on the job level. Senior executives get a higher formula than receptionists do. A smart employer will usually offer close to that formula in order to secure a settlement out of court. One thing an employer can negotiate is to pay it over time as salary would have been paid, or offer to pay a slightly lower amount in a lump sum.

The plaintiff won't simply get the difference between her Argo pay and whatever (presumably lower) salary she may be getting now. That's a relevant factor, depending on what efforts she made to get a comparable job, but you can't just take on a lower-paying job and expect your former employer to keep paying you the difference. If you could, all you'd need is one sweet job, get fired and reap the reward for the rest of your life. Nice work if you can get it. It doesn't work that way.

Of course all of this is also subject to the terms of the contract of employment. It may provide specifically for severance amounts or formulas.

So all in all, it would be surprising to me if she got more than about $80,000 all in.

Anyway, we'll never know.

As for a human rights complaint, I suppose if she feels she has a valid one, she'll file it. Unless of course she agreed not to do so as part of the settlement.

You have provided a very thorough and insightful opinion regarding the settlement. And I would agree that the settlement agreement almost certainly included a stipulation that Brooks waive her right to pursue any further action regarding the dismissal, including a human rights claim.

Yes great insight thanks. I figure on the low end it would be a year plus severence close to 100k.