Attorney General James and Bonta to Investigate the NFL’s Treatment of Women

New York and California attorneys general have filed complaints about workplace discrimination and pay unfairness in NFL offices in both states, following a February 2022 New York Times report on the treatment of women working in the league. We have started a joint investigation. .

The announcement by New York’s Leticia James and California’s Rob Bonta comes a year after The Times interviewed more than 30 current and former NFL employees. aside.

“No organization is above the law, no matter how powerful or influential they may be. I assure you that the NFL will be held accountable,” James said in a statement.

“I have serious concerns about the NFL’s role in creating a highly hostile and toxic work environment,” Bonta said.

The attorney general, who has issued a subpoena to the NFL seeking relevant information regarding the handling of the allegations, said the league has not taken sufficient steps to prevent discrimination and retaliation in the workplace.There is no time limit on the investigation period. .

There are no comments from the NFL yet.

In April 2022, six state attorneys general encouraged the NFL to address these and other workplace issues or face a formal investigation, due to the woman’s allegations. Attorneys General, led by James, also asked victims and witnesses of discrimination in the NFL to file complaints with their respective offices.

About 1,100 people work for the NFL in NFL offices in New York, New Jersey and California. According to a league spokesperson, 37% are women and 30% are people of color. The league is committed to diversifying its hiring, mandating anti-racism training and responding to employee concerns through an anonymous hotline called “Protect the Shield.”

But the women who work there say problems remain. One, a high-ranking official who left the League, filed a lawsuit for age discrimination and sex discrimination In April, it played against the league’s two business divisions, NFL Enterprise and NFL Property, and several executives.

The lawsuit was brought by Jennifer Love, who helped found the NFL Network and became the first female vice president of the NFL Media Group in over 19 years. Love claimed that the league’s human resources department never addressed her complaints about “pervasive sexism in the workplace and the ‘boys club’ mentality in the NFL.” She told her human resources department that some male executives were openly hostile to her and that her inexperienced men were repeatedly promoted over her.

According to her complaint filed in Los Angeles Superior Court, one of those executives, Mark Kuenzel, told Love that her job was eliminated in March 2022.

The Times reports that NFL Network’s senior vice president and head of content, Quenzel, was accused of pushing a female colleague during rehearsals ahead of the 2020 Super Bowl and forced to take an anger management course. A league spokesperson who spoke on behalf of Quentin and the league last year denied the allegations, claiming that Quentin didn’t push her.

The NFL’s workplace culture came under renewed scrutiny last year when former Miami Dolphins Afro-Latino coach Brian Flores filed a discrimination lawsuit. Alleged that the league ignored its rule requiring interviews with diverse candidates for

Flores was fired by the Dolphins at the end of the 2021 season, with no head coaching offers, and was hired by the Pittsburgh Steelers as an assistant defensive coach.

A federal judge in New York ruled in March that Flores’ discrimination claims against the league were not subject to the private arbitration the league had sought, paving the way for his complaints to be publicly broadcast. .

Several teams have vociferously denied Flores’ allegations, and the NFL last year said it was “deeply committed to ensuring fair employment practices” and “defended against these baseless allegations.” I will,’ he said.

A congressional committee also investigated the NFL’s handling of widespread sexual harassment allegations in the Washington Commanders’ front office. That committee requested tens of thousands of documents from the league and held a hearing in February 2022, where former employees spoke about their experiences working with the team. Two women have filed new allegations of harassment directly related to Commander’s owner, Daniel Snyder.

Snyder has denied the allegations, and the NFL has launched a second investigation into the recent allegations.

A congressional inquiry sought information from the NFL’s first year-long investigation into reports of harassment made against the Commanders organization, and in July 2021, the league fined the team $10 million, but the investigation did not stop. Snyder also agreed to transfer the team’s day-to-day operations to his wife, Tanya, for a year.

Last December, the House Committee on Oversight and Reform, with the support of NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, found evidence that Snyder and team executives sexually harassed a woman who had worked for the team for more than two decades. It issued a 79-page report that concluded the cover-up.

Last month, Snyder reached an agreement in principle to sell the team for $6 billion.

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