Italian volleyball club suing former captain for allegedly breaching contract with pregnancy

Ryan Young
·2 min read
Generic beach volleyball
An Italian volleyball club accused its former team captain of "hiding her desire to be a mother" and is seeking legal action. (Oliver Hardt/Bongarts/Getty Images)

An Italian volleyball club is suing its former team captain, alleging that she broke her contract by getting pregnant, according to The Guardian.

Volley Maniago Pordenone claims in its lawsuit that former player and team captain Lara Lugli, 41, did not tell them that she was planning to get pregnant when she signed a contract to play for them in the 2018-19 season, per the report.

She was fired in March 2019 after she informed the club about her pregnancy, though she suffered a miscarriage a month later.

Lugli asked the club to pay her the nearly $3,000 she was owed in salary for the time she played, though it declined and instead took legal action against her. It accused her of “disproportionately selling her experience” and “hiding her desire to be a mother” in court documents, per the report.

“When I read the legal document, I was so angry,” Lugli told the Guardian. “I’ve been playing volleyball for 25 years and had given it everything – they knew this. They said a 38-year-old woman should have known whether she wanted to have a baby and therefore should have said something. Not only did they call into question my professionalism but they are comparing pregnancy to illicit and malicious conduct – it’s a very serious thing.”

The head of the club, Franco Rossato, said they only opted to make a legal move against Lugli after she requested to be paid, per the report. He also said the contract was ended mutually.

“Suddenly, many months later, we received a message from her lawyer for the presumed entitlement,” Rossato said, via The Guardian. “Only then did we object and so activated the clauses of the contract.”

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