A former associate athletic director at the University of Saint Joseph in West Hartford, Conn., has filed a sex discrimination lawsuit against the school, naming Hall of Fame men's basketball coach Jim Calhoun as contributing to a "male-dominated, hostile work environment."
In her lawsuit filed Wednesday, Jaclyn Piscitelli, who was fired from her position June 21, claims she was subjected to unfair treatment and specifically noted several instances involving Calhoun, assistant coach Glen Miller, former athletic director Bill Cardarelli and others.
As reported by ctpost.com, Saint Joseph became a co-ed school two years ago and added men’s basketball last year. Calhoun, who coached 26 season at the University of Connecticut, was named the St. Joseph program’s first coach and led the team to a 16-12 overall record.
“Beginning almost immediately after Calhoun and Miller began their full-time employment with Defendant, the athletic department became a male-dominated, hostile work environment,” Piscitelli said in the complaint. “Defendant permitted Calhoun and Miller to transform the work environment in the athletic department to one that was openly hostile and disdainful toward women and where women were treated as second class citizens.”
Among other claims reported by ctpost.com, Piscitelli alleges that she was treated unequally and that her workload increased dramatically because of the institution of the new men’s sports teams, but a request for help was denied, while Josh Ingham, the school’s sports information director, was given a new assistant and intern.
Calhoun, Piscitelli alleges, forced her to clean up coffee pods after he knocked them on the ground, remarking that his wife would do so if it happened at home and on multiple occasions and referred to Piscitelli as “certainly hot.”
Piscitelli, among other requests, is seeking compensatory and punitive damages, attorney’s fees and other relief deemed equitable by the court.
"Jackie Piscitelli had a job she loved and excelled at in an environment in which she generally felt respected and valued as a professional," Magdalena Wiktor, of the law firm Madsen, Prestley and Parenteau, said, as reported by Newsweek. "However, that work environment was swiftly and drastically transformed into one that was hostile and demeaning toward women once Jim Calhoun and Glen Miller joined the staff of USJ athletics. Rather than protecting Jackie and her female colleagues from further harassment and discrimination, USJ not only condoned this 'boys' club,' it fired Jackie in retaliation for daring to speak out against it."
"We have received and are reviewing the lawsuit,"" the university said in a statement to NBC Connecticut. "The University of Saint Joseph takes compliance with all matters relating to Title IX very seriously. The University does not comment on pending litigation."