- Associated Press - Saturday, April 5, 2014

DUBUQUE, Iowa (AP) - A former Clarke University softball coach is suing the school, claiming she was fired because she rejected efforts by the school to make her appear more feminine.

Jaclyn Salzwedel filed the lawsuit last week in Dubuque District Court against the university, its athletic director Curt Long and vice president for student life, Kate Zanger, the Dubuque Telegraph Herald reported (http://bit.ly/PwGhqS).

Salzwedel’s lawsuit says she was hired in August 2010 and usually wore long cargo shorts often worn by men, with polo shirts or T-shirts, to work. She also eschewed makeup and wore her hair pulled back in a ponytail.

About two years after she was hired, Zanger told Salzwedel that she wanted to work on Salzwedel’s professional image, such as by wearing high-heeled shoes and more-feminine clothing, the lawsuit said. Another female coach was selected to be Salzwedel’s mentor, and Long and Zanger also hired a consultant to talk with Salzwedel about her appearance, according to the lawsuit.

The lawsuit says Salzwedel was told to wear body-slimming undergarments and advised to not wear a “chunky” watch.

Salzwedel said she later told Long that she was not comfortable with the changes she was asked to make.

Salzwedel said she was fired on May 6, 2013, “just hours after the softball season ended.” She said she was not given a reason for her firing. Salzwedel’s record at Clarke after three seasons was 40-90.

Salzwedel is seeking an unspecified amount for lost wages, legal fees, emotional distress and other damages.

Clarke officials declined comment to the newspaper, calling the lawsuit a personnel matter.

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Information from: Telegraph Herald, http://www.thonline.com

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