Former Dancer at Rhode Island Ballet Sues Company

March 4, 2010

A former dancer with Rhode Island’s Festival Ballet Providence claims in a lawsuit that he was discriminated against because of his gender when he was fired last year.

Eivar Martinez, who danced with Festival Ballet for about seven years, said in his suit the company willfully discriminated him by automatically accepting, without investigation, a female employee’s complaints against him.

He denied any wrongdoing and said he was not allowed to defend himself. He says the company’s actions showed clear gender bias and caused irreparable harm to his reputation and professional mobility. Martinez is seeking unspecified damages.

A spokesman for Festival Ballet tells The Providence Journal that the matter was handled “in a manner very consistent with our employment policies.”

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