Location: Las Vegas, Nevada
Q: Did Brett Favre Sexually Harass Jenn Sterger?
A: Unknown at this time.
Sexual harassment is defined as continued, unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature, to another employee, against his or her wishes.
Under this definition, did Brett Favre commit sexual harassment? It’s complicated. The answer may not be as straightforward as one would think.
As this story plays out in the national media, legal commentators are dusting off their Armani suits and best ties to prepare for “talking heads” gigs on the networks to talk about the legal implications of this case.
As of the writing of this article, the NFL is investigating allegations that Brett Favre left sexually charged voicemails for Jenn Sterger while he was quarterback for the New York Jets and she was an employee as a sideline reporter for the Jets.
Investigation is the first step of any sexual harassment situation. Most likely the NFL is conducting interview of witnesses and examining the evidence. Was the future Hall-of-Fame quarterback’s alleged conduct welcome? We know what Favre is alleged to have sent to Sterger. The question is what, if anything, did Sterger send to Favre? If the conduct was mutual and wanted between the two individuals, there is no sexual harassment. A scandal does not necessarily mean that there is a case.
In general, it is not against the law to have an affair with a co-worker, however inappropriate it may be in light of other circumstances (like one of the participants being married). Many employers have policies that forbid workplace romance. Other employers will not take a position.
The next question: What part of the conduct was wanted or unwanted? For example, if two employees have a voluntary affair, and then one cuts it off, but the other persists and it affects the employment of the victim, there could be sexual harassment issues. Having a voluntary relationship with a co-worker does not give the jilted co-worker license to harass for all time.
Many of these issues arise daily in Las Vegas casinos and workplaces between co-workers and management. The time limits to take action are very strict. Failure of a harassed employee victim to take action can result in the claim being barred.
If you are interested in a free consultation regarding your rights under Nevada and U.S. sexual harassment laws, feel free to give us a call on the toll free number on this page and ask to set up an appointment as soon as possible.