Football coach claims he was fired for taking paternity leave


A former Ohio college football coach claimed in a lawsuit recently that he was fired for taking paternity leave.

Paul Harker, former strength and conditioning coach for Miami University, alleges in the suit that officials told him after his twins were born in January 2017 his contract wouldn’t be renewed. It also alleges that after he took unpaid leave following the births, head coach Chuck Martin told Harker he needed to be either a coach or a “family man,” according to the suit filed in the U.S. District Court for South district of Ohio.

The university and Martin allegedly violated the Family and Medical Leave Act, or FMLA, a federal law that guarantees certain workers up to 12 workweeks of unpaid leave without any threat of job loss. The law, which was enacted in 1993, also requires employers to maintain health benefits for eligible workers, according to the U.S. Department of Labor.