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A slam-dunk lawsuit? NBA charged with gender bias

by on
in Discrimination and Harassment,Human Resources

The National Basketball Association faces a sex discrimination lawsuit filed by a woman who was once a senior account executive for the league. She claims the NBA forced her and two other women with young children out of their jobs by creating a hostile work environment for women with child care responsibilities.

The suit claims the NBA changed the hours employees in the woman’s department worked while she was out on maternity leave. The new schedule required working at night, a move she maintains was unnecessary.

The woman managed large printing projects for the NBA. She had been employed for more than 10 years when she claims she was forced to quit because child care became prohibitively expensive after the schedule change. According to the lawsuit, two other employees with small children were forced to leave around the same time.

The lawsuit, filed in a Manhattan federal court, seeks $3 million in damages.

Advice: Don’t make schedule changes unless you can articulate a sound business reason for doing so. Moves that disparately affect one particular group may violate Title VII of the Civil Rights Act—even if they apply to everyone.

In court, the NBA will have to explain why it made the schedule change and show that no less discriminatory method could have achieved the same results.

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