NFL Reporter Harassed – Is She to Blame for Dressing Too Sexy?

Allegations that female Mexican TV reporter Ines Sainz was treated improperly in the New York Jets’ locker room last Saturday have ignited a nationwide debate over how women should be treated in the male-dominated world of professional sports.  While Sainz waited to interview Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez, other Jets players and coaches engaged in questionable behavior directed at Sainz.  The behavior, which has been alleged to include boorish antics on the practice field and catcalls and unsavory comments in the locker room, was so out of the norm that it was reported by other media members in attendance and picked up by the Association for Women in Sports Media and brought to the attention of the National Football League brass.  Sainz has come under much criticism for wearing tight and somewhat revealing clothes while working.  Read More.

The law protects individuals from workplace harassment.  Although some might say a woman is “asking for it” if she dresses too sexy in the workplace, the law has a strict workplace harassment policy.  Harassment is a form of employment discrimination that violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967, (ADEA), and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, (ADA).  Harassment is unwelcome conduct that is based on race, color, religion, sex (including pregnancy), national origin, age (40 or older), disability or genetic information. Harassment becomes unlawful where enduring the offensive conduct becomes a condition of continued employment, or the conduct is severe or pervasive enough to create a work environment that a reasonable person would consider intimidating, hostile, or abusive.  Petty slights, annoyances, and isolated incidents (unless extremely serious) will not rise to the level of illegality. To be unlawful, the conduct must create a work environment that would be intimidating, hostile, or offensive to reasonable people.  Offensive conduct may include, but is not limited to, offensive jokes, slurs, epithets or name calling, physical assaults or threats, intimidation, ridicule or mockery, insults or put-downs, offensive objects or pictures, and interference with work performance.  For more information: EEOC Website

Leeds Morelli & Brown, PC is a nationally recognized firm in the area of employment law.  Our firm has had considerable success in matters of employment discrimination throughout Long Island and the New York City area.  For more information, contact Leeds, Morelli and Brown, PC at 1-800-585-4658 for a free consultation.