Friday, February 23, 2018

College Coach Sues Alleging He Was Not Hired Because of His Jewish Heritage

A Title VII lawsuit was filed in Louisiana federal district court this week by a former assistant football coach at the Baptist-affiliated Louisiana College.  Plaintiff Joshua Bonadona, whose mother is Jewish, was raised in the Jewish religion.  He converted to Christianity while a student at Louisiana College, and was employed as an assistant football coach there for two years after he graduated.  He then went to Southeast Missouri State University for graduate work combined with a coaching position.  Two years after that he applied for an Assistant Coach opening that had arisen back at Louisiana College.  The complaint (full text) in Bonadona v. Louisiana College,  (WD LA, filed 2/21/2018), alleges that Bonadona received assurances from Louisiana College's head coach that he would be hired for the position.  In reliance on that he resigned his Southeast Missouri position.  However Louisiana College president, Dr. Rick Brewer, vetoed the hiring because of Bonadona's "Jewish blood." The lawsuit contends:
People of Jewish heritage are protected as a distinct race under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.  Sharre Tefila Congregation v. Cobb, 481 U.S. 615 (1987).  As such, employment discrimination against an individual based upon his Jewish ethnic heritage is prohibited under 42 U.S.C. 2000e-2.
Yahoo Sports and the Bayou Brief report on the lawsuit.

UPDATE: Louisiana College issued a statement denying allegations in the lawsuit.