Coach Bobby Petrino was fired on Tuesday after he admitted he had a consensual sexual affair with a 25 year-old woman, who is his subordinate.
The affair was discovered after Petrino got into a traffic accident with the woman, but initially denied the she was involved. He, however, later admitted that he had an “inappropriate relationship” with the woman and violated the University’s sexual harassment policies, which state even, “consensual sexual relationships between faculty and students or supervisors and their employees in some instances to sexual harassment.”
In addition to the affair, Petrino gave the woman $20,000 out of his own pocket as a “gift.” This could potentially expose the University to what sexual harassment attorneys call quid pro quo harassment. This is when a supervisor offers promotions, pay raises and other perks in exchange for sexual favors.
It is possible for the young women to later allege that she entered into the affair to protect her job. Though there are no indications that this young woman has any intention of filing a lawsuit, her relationship with Petrino would make it possible for a sexual harassment attorney to seek compensation.
Even after a consensual sexual relationship ends, the behaviors or actions of people involved can later be interpreted as sexual harassment. Sexual harassment lawyers have won lawsuits on behalf of clients who were once involved with people who later sexually harassed them.