Welcome to Miami Hawk Talk!

This website is a fan-operated and fan-oriented site primarily about athletics at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio.

This website is not affiliated with Miami University, the Mid-American Conference (MAC), the National Collegiate Hockey Conference (NCHC) the NCAA, or any other collegiate or professional organization.

Paul Harker files wrongful termination suit against Miami, Chuck Martin

http://www.citybeat.com/news/article/20986095/exmiami-university-fitness-director-claims-he-was-terminated-for-going-on-paternity-leave-for-new-twins

Now, obviously complaints are complaints, and none of the defendants (which also include David Sayler and an assistant AD) have answered.  But the gist of the claim is that Harker had twins in January and went on pre-approved paternity leave for three weeks.  Then, according to the complaint:

"This infuriated Miami’s head football coach, Chuck Martin, who complained that every other man who had ever worked for him was back at work the next day after his wife gave birth and told Mr. Harker he needed to decide whether he was a football coach or a family man. Within a few days after returning from FMLA leave, Mr. Harker was told to quickly find a job elsewhere because it had been decided that his contract at Miami would not be renewed."

The full complaint, minus exhibits, is available here: 
«134

Comments

  • Opinion from the lawyers from here? POL 343 for my polysci minor at Miami doesn't exactly qualify me. ;)
  • 19goSkins19goSkins Senior Barfly
    A poor decision - if true - by Chuck Martin to speak those words. Let HR deal with HR issues.

    The shocking part is Martin said those things about midway through Harker’s contract year. Usually Chuck waits until near the end of the 4th quarter to really F up.
    Re6H5wkdigitalhawkskin66Quinoaburgerredhawk11ChiefPanicmuhawkUptownWhilrlNescacdadWellsGoddess944302and 2 others.
  • Bash_RiprockBash_Riprock Wealthy Alum
    edited December 2017
    If true, my opinion of Chuck Martin went from bad to worse in less than 12 parsecs.
    AORedHawk33Koheenredhawk11WellsGoddess944302elpalito
  • JohnnyMacJohnnyMac Wealthy Alum
    Chuck Martin needs to decide if he is really a football coach.
    Bash_RiprockRe6H5wkMacCracken
  • Opinion from the lawyers from here? POL 343 for my polysci minor at Miami doesn't exactly qualify me. ;)

    With the caveat that I don’t do this sort of law:

    This looks bad, and based on the complaint, it looks like Harker has a valid claim. But a complaint is just one side of the story. We have yet to hear from the defendants.

    One thing to note is that there’s an exhibit to the complaint (linked in the CityBeat article) that’s an email from the assistant AD listing the reasons Harker needs to go. The one that jumped out to me was that the other S&C coaches (his subordinates, since he was in charge of the APC) said he was bad at communicating with them, did very little work, and refused to help with sports other than football. Harker says in his complaint that’s because he was told he was only supposed to work on football despite having the title of head of the APC or whatever, but I’m skeptical.

    That said, this wouldn’t be the first time that someone who wasn’t a model employee suffered illegal treatment independent of their sucking at their job.
    2xHawk
  • RenmancoRenmanco Wealthy Alum
    It appears that Miami (CM) spoke without seeking the appropriate opinion of counsel (which probably would have been to shut up and let HR deal with this issue) and now they could face an embarrassing day in court and an adverse judgment given the current law and the rights guaranteed under it.

    My daughter, a hospital administrator just completed about 3 months ago a paid maternity leave of (I think 3 months) to care for her newborn daughter and, thereafter, her husband (a union worker) got two months off to do the same)....so the law definitely favors parenting and parents and provides guaranteed rights.....so

    If my interpretation of what I read in the complaint is anywhere near the truth, this could be a very bad situation for Miami just when they don't need this type of stuff....but it makes me wonder who was in control of this situation?


  • skinsskins Wealthy Alum
    edited December 2017
    Chuck is worried about a strength coach taking leave...when a special teams coach was absent all year....what did Chuck say to him?


    ;)

    Nice dig @ end by City Beat on Martin crappy record.
  • Iam4hawksIam4hawks Senior Barfly
    edited December 2017
    I went though a similar thing at a magazine I worked at. I went on leave after our son was born. My publisher didn't like the idea of men taking leave for such things and made a few comments. anyway  four weeks into a six week leave I get a call at home while I'm changing a diaper telling me I've been laid off. Now, there was a major layoff at the company (500 people overnight) but was a last in first out situation and I was ahead of four other employees in our magazine group. At the very least it was a bad optic. I was planning to go back to school for a masters and teaching certificate anyway, so I only slightly pushed the issue. Once I said the word attorney my severance was tripled. IF Martin said they things and did the things indicated here....it's ugly and ignorant to say the least. 
  • NickskinNickskin Wealthy Alum
    This is exactly (NOT) what a lame duck coach with a losing record needs.

    [cue the circus music]
  • KoheenKoheen Havighurstite
    edited December 2017
    • Winning percentage in the low 30s
    • Endless parade of in-game gaffes
    • Dumbass overly-macho Football Guy BS

    Holy shit, we have Tampa Bay Schiano as head coach.
    muhawk19goSkins
  • Sounds like the University President needs to get involved and ask exactly what the hell is going on in Millet and in the football offices.
  • RedseaRedsea Senior Barfly
    My read of that is that it reflects poorly on Chuck Martin and poorly on Harker. How do you miss two road games and the bowl game? How do you request 3 additional months of paid leave in exchange for termination and then file suit?
    muhoopsjunkie
  • mrgredhawkmrgredhawk Wealthy Alum



    "This infuriated Miami’s head football coach, Chuck Martin, who complained that every other man who had ever worked for him was back at work the next day after his wife gave birth and told Mr. Harker he needed to decide whether he was a football coach or a family man. Within a few days after returning from FMLA leave, Mr. Harker was told to quickly find a job elsewhere because it had been decided that his contract at Miami would not be renewed."

    On signing day when he talks about bringing in new kids to this 'family' and building character and blah blah blah...it all means nothing
  • Redsea said:

    My read of that is that it reflects poorly on Chuck Martin and poorly on Harker. How do you miss two road games and the bowl game? How do you request 3 additional months of paid leave in exchange for termination and then file suit?

    Regarding the additional 3 months: if the complaint is true (shaker of salt and all that), he had already been told his contract wouldn’t be renewed when he asked for it. Can’t fault the guy for asking for it in that case.
  • RenmancoRenmanco Wealthy Alum
    I long ago learned to disavow the notion that any publicity is good for business. This is a total "fluster-cluck" no matter how it ends up because the Harker complaint, which alleges several negative things against his former employer, has made it to the court of public opinion first. That being said, we will probably soon hear from the respondent/defendant but I fear the damage has been done.

    No doubt, from the University's perspective, this could have been handled better but, apparently, it wasn't and, so, this is what we have.
    Nickskin
  • RedseaRedsea Senior Barfly
    I agree that Martin sounds like an ass in this discussion and it wasn't handled well.  At the same time- if Coach Martin said that our OC was missing our bowl game because in 5 weeks his wife has a scheduled C section we would have flipped out. Harker should have not been renewed at the same time all of DT's mess was fired- I don't think we lifted one weight in the 3 years DT was Head Coach.  It is a shame that Martin's behavior might make the easiest "Non-renewal of contract" in the history of S&C coaches into a situation where we have legal liability.  
    AORedHawk33
  • According to that article, Human Resources was firmly in Martin's corner on this matter.  Anybody know why in 2016 he skipped to games?  That had nothing to do with paternity leave.  And then missed the bowl game.  Seriously, January is peak of off-season training for the team and he took 3 weeks off, then came back and asked for another 9 weeks off for a total of 12 weeks during the peak of off-season training.  What if Martin decides to take 12 weeks off starting this coming September??  And we can't hire a new head coach because Martin is still our head coach (Martin was trying to hire a new strength coach but couldn't because he wouldn't resign).  I know the funny jokes of haha Martin does take 12 weeks off or good riddance if he takes 12 weeks off....  but seriously, what if Martin did the same exact thing come peak of in-season for HIS job?  You guys would go off the rails.

  • Why is Harker to blame for not resigning? Is he supposed to forfeit pay he’s entitled to for the good of the program? If it was essential for him to be out of the way for Martin to hire a new guy, Martin should have fired him. Otherwise, he was well within his rights to stay until his contract expired.
    Bash_Riprock
  • Overall, I’m with RedSea on this. It seems there were obvious reasons to not renew Harker’s contract. But if what’s in the complaint is true, Martin has probably screwed us.
  • Well, he obviously had to know his contract wouldn't be renewed after missing 2 games in 2016, a bowl game, 3 weeks in peak training season that he leads, and then wants to take 9 more weeks all the way to June?  


    Snowflake generation?

    mrgredhawkredhawk112xHawkBash_RiprockScalperChiefPanicelpalito
  • BluesmanBluesman Wealthy Alum
    Where there is smoke there is usually fire seems very apropos here. And I think dirty diapers are hitting the fan!!!
  • El13El13 Wealthy Alum
    Just reading the article, I would say this is a exit decision situation that was developing and was simply not handled correctly by management. This happens all the time and the only difference is how management handles the separation. Looks like a risk management failure to me. Thus statements like CMs, if true and unsurmantable from a legal perspective. Not what CM needs right now, if I believe other rumors on how the staff is handled we may have a big issue here?
    thechuck_2112AORedHawk33Renmanco
  • mz343mz343 Senior Barfly

    Well, he obviously had to know his contract wouldn't be renewed after missing 2 games in 2016, a bowl game, 3 weeks in peak training season that he leads, and then wants to take 9 more weeks all the way to June?  


    Snowflake generation?

    After having a baby come 3 weeks early during a long and strenuous labor and that baby have trouble gaining weight and the post-partum struggles that my wife endured, I support any dad's decision to take as much time, paid or unpaid, to be with their children.  Luckily, my employer has been 100% supportive of my decision to put family first and be as productive work-wise as I can be when I'm able to do so.
    Mowchthechuck_2112Professor_FateBash_RiprockDSnyder152xHawkChiefPanicWellsGoddess944302
  • gentbaseball12gentbaseball12 Off-Campus Slummer

    According to that article, Human Resources was firmly in Martin's corner on this matter.  Anybody know why in 2016 he skipped to games?  That had nothing to do with paternity leave.  And then missed the bowl game.  Seriously, January is peak of off-season training for the team and he took 3 weeks off, then came back and asked for another 9 weeks off for a total of 12 weeks during the peak of off-season training.  What if Martin decides to take 12 weeks off starting this coming September??  And we can't hire a new head coach because Martin is still our head coach (Martin was trying to hire a new strength coach but couldn't because he wouldn't resign).  I know the funny jokes of haha Martin does take 12 weeks off or good riddance if he takes 12 weeks off....  but seriously, what if Martin did the same exact thing come peak of in-season for HIS job?  You guys would go off the rails.

    It doesn't really matter whether you think it's stupid or not. Federal law says you get 12 weeks unpaid leave a year to care for newborn kids, or for your own or your family member's serious health condition. So if Chuck was diagnosed with cancer tomorrow and had to get treatment, or he had a newborn, or had his spouse get deathly ill, we'd have to follow the law and give him his leave if he needed it or requested it (and I would hope Miami would do so without hesitation). There's bigger stuff in life than football.

    As with most separations, it doesn't look like everyone is clearly a saint or dinner. Miami gave Harker the bowl game off when it didn't have to (more than a month before his kids were actually born), AND gave him his full 12 weeks of FMLA leave. And from what's alleged it seems as though he did a poor job of keeping Chuck in the loop once he took his 3 weeks paid leave.

    It's fairly common (but stupid) for supervisors to say the things Chuck is alleged to say, so it wouldn't surprise me if he said something similar to what's alleged. Usually federal employment statutes don't permit individual liability for supervisors but FMLA is an exception, so Chuck and others will be defendants. I'm sure it will be fun to prep for a deposition while coaching with your job on the line.

    Harker is entitled to his 12 weeks but it was kind of a dick move to take his 3 weeks paid (which I assume Chuck thought would be all the leave he would take), then come back and work 2 months and then take the rest of his leave (keep in mind Miami had just opened up the $25 million APC in Feb. 2017, and Harker is the head S&C guy for that new facility, as he even says in his complaint). Again he's entitled to that leave but the timing it just strange, particularly since nothing was alleged about health issues with his kids or wife that would cause him to go out after being back at work for 2 months.

    I assume once Miami answers the complainant, we will learn a lot more about why Harker was a less than stellar employee. Never fun to be a plaintiff in these cases since every thing you ever did slightly wrong comes out.

    Also, Miami should try to have their contracts follow the relevant seasons of the teams -- not sure why Miami has to keep a football only S&C guy around until June when January is really when the "new" season start.


    Bash_RiprockDSnyder15
  • My guess is this settles with some sort of payout to Harker, precisely because it's common but stupid for supervisors to say stuff like what Martin is alleged to have said.  As El13 said, bad risk management: you had a guy who was going to be on the way out the door anyway, but the supervisor couldn't just keep his mouth shut and screwed it all up.
  • thechuck_2112thechuck_2112 Wealthy Alum
    edited December 2017

    According to that article, Human Resources was firmly in Martin's corner on this matter.  Anybody know why in 2016 he skipped to games?  That had nothing to do with paternity leave.  And then missed the bowl game.  Seriously, January is peak of off-season training for the team and he took 3 weeks off, then came back and asked for another 9 weeks off for a total of 12 weeks during the peak of off-season training.  What if Martin decides to take 12 weeks off starting this coming September??  And we can't hire a new head coach because Martin is still our head coach (Martin was trying to hire a new strength coach but couldn't because he wouldn't resign).  I know the funny jokes of haha Martin does take 12 weeks off or good riddance if he takes 12 weeks off....  but seriously, what if Martin did the same exact thing come peak of in-season for HIS job?  You guys would go off the rails.

    It doesn't really matter whether you think it's stupid or not. Federal law says you get 12 weeks unpaid leave a year to care for newborn kids, or for your own or your family member's serious health condition. So if Chuck was diagnosed with cancer tomorrow and had to get treatment, or he had a newborn, or had his spouse get deathly ill, we'd have to follow the law and give him his leave if he needed it or requested it (and I would hope Miami would do so without hesitation). There's bigger stuff in life than football.

    As with most separations, it doesn't look like everyone is clearly a saint or dinner. Miami gave Harker the bowl game off when it didn't have to (more than a month before his kids were actually born), AND gave him his full 12 weeks of FMLA leave. And from what's alleged it seems as though he did a poor job of keeping Chuck in the loop once he took his 3 weeks paid leave.

    It's fairly common (but stupid) for supervisors to say the things Chuck is alleged to say, so it wouldn't surprise me if he said something similar to what's alleged. Usually federal employment statutes don't permit individual liability for supervisors but FMLA is an exception, so Chuck and others will be defendants. I'm sure it will be fun to prep for a deposition while coaching with your job on the line.

    Harker is entitled to his 12 weeks but it was kind of a dick move to take his 3 weeks paid (which I assume Chuck thought would be all the leave he would take), then come back and work 2 months and then take the rest of his leave (keep in mind Miami had just opened up the $25 million APC in Feb. 2017, and Harker is the head S&C guy for that new facility, as he even says in his complaint). Again he's entitled to that leave but the timing it just strange, particularly since nothing was alleged about health issues with his kids or wife that would cause him to go out after being back at work for 2 months.

    I assume once Miami answers the complainant, we will learn a lot more about why Harker was a less than stellar employee. Never fun to be a plaintiff in these cases since every thing you ever did slightly wrong comes out.

    Also, Miami should try to have their contracts follow the relevant seasons of the teams -- not sure why Miami has to keep a football only S&C guy around until June when January is really when the "new" season start.


    Regarding the additional leave: if I understand the timing correctly, Harker was told in February that his contract wouldn't be renewed, then asked for the additional leave after that.  At that point, why not take the leave? What are they going to do, put him on double-secret probation?
    MacCracken
  • Spanks004Spanks004 Wealthy Alum
    If true, this is pretty shitty. Although I come from a company that has a very, very generous maternity/paternity program. My brother got a few days off from his company, so I guess just depends the expectations that people should know that are already in place. Shame that Chuck thinks people should be at work the day after a child is born, that is sad.
  • I’m glad to see that people are finally talking about family and health care, first.
    WellsGoddess944302
  • 19goSkins19goSkins Senior Barfly
    Chuck screwed up by not letting HR handle an HR matter. But he’s a football coach and has a certain intensity that came through. Things are certainly different than they were in prior eras, across many genres including coaches. Bo, Woody, Bear Bryant, etc did things that might get them thrown in jail today. Even if he sucks as an in game coach, Chuck is cut from that old school cloth and truly feels Harker needed to make a choice. Unfortunately, he shouldn’t have said what he did and will cost Miami some cash. I don’t think it’s the PR. nightmare some are suggesting though.
    AORedHawk33DSnyder15DICK
Sign In or Register to comment.