Ohio State University band director Jonathan Walters gained national acclaim and recognition for revolutionizing college football halftime shows by OSU’s marching band. Many of his shows went “viral” on YouTube earning hundreds of thousands of views from their complex dance patterns and arrangements synced with their music during the halftime shows. Walters is now singing a different tune however, after being fired from the university following claims that he mishandled several sexual discrimination allegations.
Walters claims he was discriminated against and denied due process, alleging that his discipline was different than that of a female employee accused of the same allegations. A federal judge is now hearing both sides of the case and is expected to make a ruling soon as to whether to dismiss or allow the case to continue.
Attorneys for Walter also claim that the Ohio State University purposely fired only the male employee to legitimize the university’s serious stance on sexual discrimination cases. The University countered, saying that he had been given many opportunities and was given ample due process during the investigation that led to his inevitable firing.
Employment disputes are often complicated and rely on many factors. Courts need to look at both sides of the argument and weigh both sides to make a determination. If you believe you were improperly fired from your job, it may be in your best interest to seek legal advice and support to help familiarize yourself with situations involving employment disputes. Employers will likely have developed a strong defense to counter your claims, so understanding your legal rights and options will help you better remedy the situation.
Source: Associated Press, “Lawyers for Ohio State, fired band director spar in court”, accessed April 14, 2015