159 people applied for Jessica Dorrell’s position as Student-Athlete Development Coordinator. Athletic Director Jeff Long said at Tuesday’s press conference that coach Petrino’s relationship with Dorrell gave her an unfair advantage on the football staff.
Labor and Employment Attorney, Russell Gunter says the applicants can file a sexual harassment claim.
“If an employee gets employment opportunity or benefit because they`re having a consensual relationship supervisor than anybody else that was working for that supervisor was denied that opportunity has a cause of action,” says Gunter.
But Little Rock Attorney Chip Welch says the applicants don’t have much to stand on.
“Anyone who’s complaining is complaining about not being included and interviewed in a process in a job that lasted 3 weeks, so there’s probably not going to be a whole lot that comes of that,” says Welch.
Gunter says he thinks the university should re-post Dorrell`s job and then let all the applicants re-apply.
Dorrell is still employed with the university. Welch says termination could lead to what lawyers call a quid pro quo sexual harassment claim.
“She had a supervisor who was twice her age and he was making considerably more money than she who engages in a relationship with her and when it comes to light she’s fired because of her status and she would have had a difficult time saying no to a powerful man twice her age,” explains Welch.
Long also said in the press conference Tuesday that Petrino gave Dorrell $20,000 prior to her getting hired on the Football staff.