The former Director of Operations at Iowa Speedway has filed a sex discrimination and retaliation lawsuit against the Newton track's president and CEO claiming his derogatory statements toward her led to a hostile work environment and that she was unjustly fired after complaining about the work conditions.
Gail Sue Nungesser of Newton filed suit in Jasper County District Court last week against Iowa Speedway President and CEO Stan Clement, Chuck Spicer, Vice President of Sales and Marketing, and U.S. Motorsport Corporation.
The petition states that Nungesser, who had previous experience working in the racing industry, was hired in April 2006 as Iowa Speedway's Facilities Maintenance Manager. A few months later she was promoted to Director of Opertaions.
During the course of her employment, the petition states, Clement "made a series of derogatory, sex-based comments" about her and "instructed other employees that they did nto need to listen to (Nungesser) because she was a woman and that, as such, she did not know what she was talking about."
The lawsuit states that Speedway management fostered a view that women in management were deserving of little respect.
"The view held by senior management that women could not be knowledgeable about the racing industry and therefore need not be listened to came to define (Nungesser's) working environment," the petition states. "As a result, (she) was subjected to ridicule and disrespect on the job."
The suit states that she complained about the alleged discrimination on "numerous occasions" beginning in the July 2007, but that Iowa Speedway officials "took no remedial action after receiving the complaints."
In October 2011, Nungesser was terminated from her position by being told it was being eliminated. She was replaced, the suit contends, by a male with less experience who had worked under her prior to her termination.
The suit contends she was terminated for having complained about sexual discrimination in the workplace.
Nungesser is seeking past and future damages as well as punitive damages for the malicious and reckless actions of the defendants. She is seeking a jury trial in the matter.