Brett Favre and New York Jets face workplace lawsuit for harassment

According to an article in the National Post, Brett Favre and the New York Jets are being sued by two former massage therapists in a workplace lawsuit claiming they lost their jobs after complaining about sexually suggestive text messages from Favre.
The women allege that Favre proposed off work meetings with them in sexually suggestive ways.  When they declined his advances, they were effectively blackballed from working for the team and its players, they claim.
In Canada, employees can make legal claims against employers for reprisal, constructive dismissal, harassment and discrimination when there is a loss of work due to rejecting the sexual advances of another employee or supervisor.  These claims can be brought at provincial human rights tribunals or through the courts.
In order to prevent exposure from these claims, employers should consider the following advice:
– implement clear policies on sexual harassment and consistently enforce them.
– conduct investigations by a third party or neutral investigator as soon as allegations of harassment occur.  Do not jump to conclusions without first providing the alleged harasser an opportunity to respond.  The point of the investigation is to find the truth not to condemn one side or the other.
– Conduct annual training with managers and supervisors on addressing allegations of workplace harassment and how to apply appropriate policies in place.
– Consult an employment lawyer right away.  If there are holes in your case, don’t learn of them when you first read an ex-employee’s lawsuit.
Daniel A. Lublin is an employment lawyer with Whitten & Lublin LLP.  He can be reached at [email protected].  Daniel acts for employers and employees in all workplace law matters.