A male employee of the National Basketball League (NBA) claims that he was fired for coming to the defense of female employees who raised concerns about sexual harassment in the workplace. The man worked as a security director for the sports league for 10 years, until he was fired in July.
According to reports, the man filed a lawsuit against the NBA and three of his former superiors last week, claiming that they subjected him to unlawful retaliation after he lent support to three women by reporting their complaints about the alleged occurrences of sexual harassment.
He asserts that despite his prior good performance evaluations with the league, his attempts to help defend the rights of other employees that were possibly being violated resulted in others retaliating against him in the workplace by denying him a promotion and ultimately firing him.
The man said that when he raised his concerns with superiors, they were more concerned about how the complaints would damage the careers of the men instead of the women who were being subjected to the inappropriate behavior.
Two of the complaining female employees had indicated that a fellow security employee had sexually harassed them by showing sexually explicit materials on his computer screen at work, and by making offensive sexual remarks.
The third woman claimed that a vice president of the NBA in charge of security asked her to make copies of a raunchy picture and made statements about females which she considered to be demeaning. When she complained, she was allegedly passed over for promotions and subsequently terminated.
The former security director disputes the NBA’s defense that it terminated him for inadequate performance. Prior to his termination, he had testified in court in support of the third female employee’s sexual harassment claims, indicating that NBA officials had known about her complaints. That lawsuit was eventually settled.
Source: CBS News, “Ex-staffer: I stuck up for women so NBA fired me,” Dec. 15, 2011