House Committee on Oversight and Reform to Hold Roundtable with Former Washington Football Team Employees on Rampant Workplace Misconduct, Sexual Harassment

by MCS Staff
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It was announced in a press release this morning that the House Committee on Oversight and Reform will hold a round table with several former Washington Football Team employees to discuss issues of workplace misconduct and the National Football League’s (NFL) failure to take steps to prevent sexual harassment and verbal abuse within the WFT under the leadership of owner Dan Snyder.

Full Press Release Below:

Washington D.C. (January 27, 2022)—On Thursday, February 3, 2022 at 10:00 a.m. ET, Rep. Carolyn B. Maloney, Chairwoman of the Committee on Oversight and Reform, and Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi, Chairman of the Subcommittee on Economic and Consumer Policy, will hold a hybrid roundtable with several former Washington Football Team (WFT) employees to discuss issues of workplace misconduct and the National Football League’s (NFL) failure to take steps to prevent sexual harassment and verbal abuse within the WFT under the leadership of owner Dan Snyder.  The roundtable will be an opportunity for Committee Members to hear firsthand accounts of former employees and will inform potential legislative solutions to better protect all workers from harassment and discrimination.

 

“For more than twenty years, employees of the Washington Football Team were subjected to sexual harassment, verbal abuse,and other misconduct,” said Chairwoman Maloney.  “It is becoming increasingly clear that not only did the team fail to protect employees, but the NFL went to great lengths to prevent the truth about this toxic work environment from coming to light.  The NFL’s decision to cover up these abuses raises serious questions about its commitment to setting workplace standards that keep employees safe.  I commend these victims for their bravery in coming forward to share their stories.  No organization is above the law, I am committed to getting to the bottom of these abuses and ensuring that every American—no matter where they work—is safe from workplace harassment and discrimination.” 

 

“We launched this investigation because the NFL has not been transparent about the workplace misconduct issues it uncovered within the WFT,” said Chairman Krishnamoorthi.  “These victims are bravely coming forward with their stories, sharing details of despicable abuse in their workplace.  The WFT and NFL had a responsibility to protect these employees, and they failed.  Our investigation will continue until the perpetrators of sexual harassment are held accountable.  No person deserves to be harassed or abused at work, and this Committee will do everything in its power to protect employees at the WFT and beyond.”

 

Over the past several years, multiple reports have emerged from employees who either witnessed or experienced the toxic work environment inside the WFT, including reports of rampant sexual harassment and secret videos featuring lewd outtakes from cheerleader photoshoots.  However, the team failed to adequately address the concerns raised when it was brought to their attention.

In July 2020, the WFT hired attorney Beth Wilkinson to conduct an internal investigation into these allegations but just over a month later, the WFT announced that it was turning over the investigation to the NFL.  In a break from previous practice, the NFLhas not publicly disclosed the findings of that investigation.

On October 21, 2021, Chairwoman Maloney and Chairman Krishnamoorthi sent a letter to NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell requesting all documents and communications obtained in connection with Wilkinson’s investigation as well as the underlying findings.

On November 5, 2021, the Chairs released a statement calling on the NFL and the WFT to release all individuals from non-disclosure agreements preventing them from speaking out about Dan Snyder and the WFT’s toxic work environment.  The Chairs issued another statementin December 2021 following a reportthat detailed Snyder’s efforts to obstruct the internal investigation.

In Congress, Chairwoman Maloney has been a leader in the fight against workplace discrimination and harassment, sponsoring the Ending Secrecy About Workplace Sexual Harassment Act, and co-sponsoring the Bringing an End to Harassment by Enhancing Accountability and Rejecting Discrimination (BE HEARD) in the Workplace Act, and other legislation. Additionally, she is a cosponsor of the Ending the Monopoly of Power Over Workplace Harassment Through Education and Reporting (EMPOWER) Act, which aims to prevent and respond to workplace harassment by prohibiting the use of NDAs to keep workers from speaking out about workplace misconduct.

The NFL has one of the most prominent platforms in America and the lack of transparency about its handling of decades-long allegations of harassment and discrimination within one of its teams sets a dangerous precent for other workplaces.  To ensure real accountability, the NFL must end its cover-up, honor its commitment to cooperate with Congress, and release Wilkinson’s investigative findings.

 

WHAT:  

 

Hybrid Roundtable on “Examining the Washington Football Team’s Toxic Workplace Culture”
WHEN: Thursday, February 3, 2022 at 10:00 a.m. ET

WHO:    

 

Emily Applegate

Former Marketing Coordinator, Premium Client Services Coordinator, Ticket Sales Representative
Washington Football Team

Melanie Coburn

Former Director of Marketing, Marketing Coordinator, Cheerleader

Washington Football Team

Rachel Engleson

Former Director of Marketing and Client Relations, Director of Client Services, Manager of Premium Client Services, Customer Service Representative, Intern

Washington Football Team

Ana Nunez
Former Coordinator of Business Development & Client Service, Account Executive
Washington Football Team

Brad Baker
Former Video Production Manager, Producer
Washington Football Team

Additional witnesses to be announced

WATCH:

A livestream will be available on YouTube and the Committee on Oversight and Reform website.
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