Whether a business is a mom-and-pop shop or the namesake football team of the nation’s capital city, sexual harassment and sex-based discrimination are illegal. Businesses of a certain size must comply with federal and its respective state’s laws prohibiting sexual harassment in the workplace.
Gloria Allred of Allred, Maroko & Goldberg is representing multiple wronged employees for, inter alia, claims of sexual harassment against the Washington Football Team. One client, a former cheerleader who alleges she was included in a secretly produced explicit video shown to the team’s owner without her knowledge or permission, issued a statement through Ms. Allred stating that the use of her image in the lewd video is “reprehensible and appalling.”
The allegations from dozens of former Washington Football Team’s employees are highly disturbing and generally claim that the organization fostered an environment of harassment, mistreatment, and exploitation of female workers for decades.
One of the many disturbing stories coming from at least 40 former Washington Football Team employees in recent weeks paint a clear picture of a work environment where women were regularly demeaned, objectified and harassed. Among the allegations:
- A culture that treated female employees like “servants”;
- A policy that directed female staffers to avoid “football areas” while players were around;
- Regular unwanted sexual comments;
- Directions to wear clothing that showed more skin;
- Orders to flirt with clients
According to news articles, the owner of the Washington Football Team, as well as some of the individuals accused of wrongdoing, denied the claims.
Workplace sexual harassment charges are common
The Equal Employment Opportunity Commissions publishes data about the types of charge receipts it receives. The percentage of charges annually alleging workplace sexual harassment has grown. In fiscal year 2019, more than one in every 10 charge receipts included sexual harassment. These are predominantly filed by women, who make up about 80% of all sexual harassment charges received by the agency.
While off-hand remarks, isolated incidents and simple teasing are not generally outlawed, frequent or severe behavior that creates a hostile, offensive workplace is prohibited. The accounts coming from women who used to work for the Washington Football Team suggest a clear pattern of misconduct among leaders within the organization.
Allred, Maroko & Goldberg stands by and supports any victims of sexual harassment and protecting their rights – even if it means going toe-to-toe with one of the most well-known businesses in the country.