Sail Canada denies Lisa Ross claim

Published on June 14th, 2023

A legal controversy is afoot following the release of Lisa Ross from the Canadian sailing team’s coaching staff. The two-time Olympic sailor for Canada alleges that nine days after informing Sail Canada that she was expecting her third child, the national sailing authority abruptly fired her while she was working in Europe. Here is Sail Canada’s response:

Sail Canada is aware of recent social media posts and media reports regarding the termination of Lisa Ross. In light of these reports, we wish to provide the following comments to our internal members:

• In February 2023, Sail Canada made the decision to eliminate Ms. Ross’ coaching position for financial reasons and terminate her employment in accordance with her employment agreement. Due to decreased funding for certain programs, Sail Canada has been forced to reduce its resources and program offerings.

• Sail Canada made this decision, sought legal counsel, and prepared relevant documentation prior to Ms. Ross informing Sail Canada of her pregnancy in March 2023. The elimination of Ms. Ross’ position was based on internal financial analysis, and neither her pregnancy nor her gender had any role in her termination.

• Although the decision to eliminate the position had been made and termination documents were prepared by the end of February 2023, Sail Canada waited to communicate its decision to Ms. Ross until the conclusion of the 2023 ICLA European Championships in order to avoid any impacts on training or competition for its athletes and members.

• Sail Canada is an equal opportunity employer and is committed to equity, inclusion, and diversity in sport. Sail Canada is supportive of employees who are or want to become parents, and provides a flexible workplace with pregnancy and parental leave policies in accordance with employment standards legislation.

We sincerely wish Ms. Ross all the best. As this is a legal matter, Sail Canada is unable to provide any further comment.

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