On February 20, 2018, reporters from Sports Illustrated published a jaw-dropping and well-researched article on the culture of sexual harassment and sexism that ran rampant in the Dallas Mavericks organization until very recently. Former and current employees quoted in the article described the culture as “a real life Animal House,” with ex-CEO Terdema Ussery being the worst abuser.
According to the women quoted, Ussery was “a serial harasser of women,” and his reputation “preceded him.” Sports Illustrated wrote:
“Two women claimed to SI that Ussery harassed them for years. These incidents ranged from inappropriate remarks to requests for sex to touching women’s calves and thighs during meetings. One of the women says she made Pittman aware—”countless times… I ‘leaned in’ so much I fell over”—of Ussery’s behavior; the other chose not to, frustrated by what she deemed to be Pittman’s unhelpful response to an unrelated complaint she had raised. “I felt trapped, frozen, scared,” says one of the women. “This was the CEO of the organization….and it was clear he wasn’t going to get fired.”
In this new age of feminism, the Women’s March, and the #MeToo movement, women are no longer remaining quiet as they are sexually harassed and abused in the workplace. Indeed, as of February 26, 2018, the Weinstein Company, the once highly successful production company helmed by Harvey Weinstein, declared bankruptcy in the wake of dozens of sexual harassment and abuse stories that have come to light in recent months.
It is more important now than ever for women to know that they are not required to remain silent to sexual harassment, abuse, rape, or any other form of sex discrimination in the workplace. Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended, states that it:
[S]hall be an unlawful employment practice for an employer –
(1) to fail or refuse to hire or to discharge any individual, or otherwise to discriminate against any individual with respect to his compensation, terms conditions, or privileges of employment, because of such individual’s race, color, religion, sex, or national origin; or
(2) to limit, segregate, or classify his employees or applicants for employment in any way which would deprive or tend to deprive any individual of employment opportunities or otherwise adversely affect his status as an employee, because of such individual’s race, color, religion, sex, or national origin.
If you feel as if you have been a victim of sexual harassment, sexual abuse, or any other form of discrimination on the basis of your sex and/or gender in the workplace, you should get in touch with the lawyers at Hutchison & Stoy, PLLC today for a free case evaluation.
Our attorneys are available at all hours to help you pursue and protect your rights under the law. Call us today!