Shane Heal's new claims against Sydney Flames in WNBL controversy
The Aussie basketball legend has been suspended amid an investigation into his conduct.
Sydney Flames head coach Shane Heal will expand his case against the club as he fights a suspension and possible termination after bullying allegations were made against him. In a brief Federal Court case management hearing on Wednesday afternoon, Heal's barrister Bilal Rauf said his client would bring further claims against the Flames.
"The substantive claim that Your Honour has before you, it relates to alleged contraventions of the adverse action provision but that does need to be amended to include breach of contract," he told Justice Melissa Perry. Heal will also be seeking employee entitlements such as accrued leave which he claims he is owed by the club.
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Sydney Flames' barrister Paul Moorhouse said the club promised not to terminate Heal's employment while the lawsuit was ongoing provided that a five-day expedited hearing was held by June. In return, Heal has promised to pay the Flames compensation for damages which result from this undertaking.
An urgent mediation held last week failed to resolve the case. The head coach has been absent from the Women's National Basketball League since multiple players approached the Flames with bullying complaints in early January.
An investigation was carried out and Heal was suspended in the process. Findings of misconduct were made on February 3 with a show cause notice issued to Heal before his possible dismissal.
The notable basketballer, who denies any allegations of wrongdoing, sued the Flames in the Federal Court over alleged breaches of employment law. He is seeking penalties and orders blocking the club from firing him.
Flames owner Paul Smith and president Victoria Denholm are also alleged to have been involved in the breaches. This is the second Federal Court case to have been launched against the Sydney Flames with former head coach and CEO Karen Dalton accusing the "boys club" of discrimination and gender disparity.
Shyla Heal released by Sydney Flames
Earlier this month, Heal's daughter Shyla was released from the Flames for "personal reasons" after being absent for three-straight games. Shyla has since joined the Townsville Fire, where she will play out the remainder of the season.
"The club has cleared the way for Shyla to seek other playing opportunities," the Flames said at the time. "The Flames would like to thank Shyla for her contribution to our club over the past two seasons and wish her all the best in her future endeavours."
Shyla joined the Flames in 2021 after leaving WNBA team Chicago Sky, who selected her with the eighth overall pick of that year's draft. The Sky traded Heal to the Dallas Wings in June of 2021, with Dallas immediately waiving her.
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