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Females in the Athletic Training work place

Post edited by Kaitlin Tortorich on


  • Kaitlin . . . The treatment toward you is ILLEGAL. It falls into the realm of sexual harassment because you are being bullied on basis of sex. Title VII of the Civil Rights Act protects you against this in the workplace. Your AD should know this. If your AD is not going to do anything to rectify the situation, you need to go above his/her head, including going to the hospital you are employed by. HR at the hospital would probably be interested in knowing how you're being treated. There's a pretty good chance that's what has happened to the 3 previous females in your position, hence the reason they left. You need to stand up for yourself, because apparently no one else is going to. You should not tolerate any of this!
  • Agreed Dani, HR has documentation to record and file on your behalf of the work environment that is contracted for your services. Notify your hospital supervisor, email is a great paper trail of the due process.(confirms complaint and would begin questions on contract)
  • edited April 2016
    Just the comments about your physique are grounds alone for a sexual harrassment complaint. Make sure to document all actions he has done or comments he has made to show a history of his behavior. It's sad that he and the other AT hold this type of sexist attitude. Don't let people like him discourage you from what you want to accomplish.
  • You are in an unfortunate situation but have a number of ways to make it better. You work for the hospital so that is where you need to start.
    *Let your supervisor know what is going on immediately if you haven't already.
    *As mentioned before, document, document, document. If he is part of the teachers union, masses of documentation are required.

    Your supervisor or the hospital may step in and handle this, especially if the other female AT's came from the hospital.You may also want to contact someone on your state board as they may have experience with situations such as yours.
    That done, how far are you willing to go to do what it takes to make this situation better? How will you feel about yourself if you let this man chase you off? How will you feel about yourself if you don't do anything to correct it and stay anyway? Would you feel empowered knowing that you are making the situation better for future female AT's and for the current female population at the school?

    You stated that his attitude has been mentioned by a number of other people. The coaches need to let the athletic director know. The athletic training students (male and female) can not only file a complaint with the AD but also with their counselors. You are in a good position to coordinate an effort BUT you cannot. That is outside the scope of the hospital's contract with the school.

    Once you are comfortable with your decision to progress, it's time to go outside your comfort zone and sit down with the AT. Let him know your concerns and only your concerns, not the coaches or students. Let him know that you will be coming back at the AD's request. Let him know that you have passed your concerns on to the hospital. Limit the meeting to 5 or so minutes and leave. Don't let him throw you off track or argue with you. Follow (and practice) your agenda and give a date for a followup discussion.

    Lastly, you can file a complaint with the EEOC. Complaints are anonymous though it may be obvious that it came from you. The EEOC will come in and do a thorough investigation. Their decision is legally binding. This will involve the principal and the school board.

    Let us know your progress.
    Now, pull up your big girl panties, grab your scissors and some tape and tackle this head on!
  • Sometimes people are just seeing how far they can push you. I had a situation my first day on the job at a High School. I was the first ATC this school had ever had. I introduced myself to the Head Baseball coach and he said to me "your job is to tape ankles and keep your mouth shut" in response I said "I'll decide what my job is" and I walked away. We became very close friends. Hopefully if you just stand up to a bully the bully will back down, that's coming from a former bully.
  • Kaitlin,

    I am a male ATC, but how you are being treated is absolutely wrong and there is no place for this in the athletic training community. I have worked in outreach settings as well as being hired by school districts which means I have some understanding on how both entities work and think. You mentioned you have gained the trust of the athletes and coaches which demonstrates you are willing to be a team player and take your job seriously as a professional. This is huge in that I would not be surprised at the coaches to be a little apprehensive in trusting you since the previous two ATC's have left after one year. I, too have been bullied by a coach who felt I was his servant and should do whatever he said regardless of my professional ethics and opinion. I have also seen similar situations to yours, however it was male coaches or AD's, not a head ATC, who treated a female ATC as not a part of the staff/team. Here is where it is going to get tricky for you and there is no way I can predict the outcome. First and foremost you must hold to your ethics and professional standards. You will be able to hold your head high regardless of the outcome if you do. It may mean you lose your job or particular placement, but you are not really happy with the current situation, and unless he leaves, I wouldn't expect his attitude to change any time soon. This happened to me. Since you are employed by a hospital and contracted to a school, you first file your grievance with your HR department. You have to follow the chain of command at a school so that means the chain is usually the AD, Asst. Principal over athletics, Principal, Superintendent or Asst. Superintendent over athletics. As the previous posts said, document, document with dates, times, etc. Depending on the community in which you live, the hospital may just move you to another school because they just don't want to get into a fight with the school since they don't have any control over a school district. They may go the other way and drop their contract with the district and go after another district in which the first district may be forced to deal with the situation or lose services. On the other hand they may discuss the situation with the school. I would not be surprised if you get nowhere with the school, however. Here is why. They are probably getting your services for free or for minimal cost. They don't want to bite the hand that feeds them. They don't want to lose AT services and are willing to get a new outreach ATC each year as opposed to have to fund one themselves. They obviously have shown no loyalty to the previous two AT's. The coaches may or may not have stood up for them due to not wanting to risk their job. I don't know who the head ATC reports to, but if you are going to sit down and address these issues with him, you need to have his supervisor in the room with you, along with a representative from the hospital so the school knows you are serious about the sexual harassment issues. Schools do not like getting in to those issues and see more than they want to between coaches. Do not meet with him alone! He has already shown he will go behind you to take credit for your ideas and may look for ways to get rid of you saying "she just isn't working out" to the hospital administration without discussing it with the AD. You said the AD wants you back. If the AD is the ATC's supervisor, this may help. I don't know how many years the head AT has been certified or what his issue is with women, but to me it sounds like a classic case of insecurity with himself. Good luck and please let this forum know how it works out so others can learn from your situation.
  • edited May 2016
    Post edited by Kaitlin Tortorich on
  • edited May 2016
    Post edited by Kaitlin Tortorich on
  • edited May 2016
    Hi Kaitlin,

    I recently read this article from the Huffpost Sports: First Female Head Athletic Trainer in Major Professional Sports, Sue Falsone, Tells Us How to Innovate the Physical Therapy Field

    I thought it could interest you too!
    Post edited by Jim B on
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