Tackling Toxic Workplaces: Examining the NFL’s Handling of Workplace Misconduct at the Washington Commanders
On Wednesday, June 22, 2022, at 11:00 a.m. ET, Rep. Carolyn B. Maloney, the Chairwoman of the Committee on Oversight and Reform, will hold a hearing to examine the toxic workplace culture at the Washington Commanders (Commanders), including allegations of sexual harassment, spanning multiple decades. The hearing will also address the failure by the Commanders and the National Football League (NFL) to take meaningful steps to prevent and address this misconduct, and the League’s refusal to make the findings of an internal investigation into the misconduct public.
For nearly two decades, under the leadership of team owner Daniel Snyder, Commanders employees were subjected to a toxic workplace and silenced by non-disclosure agreements.
On February 3, 2022, the Committee held a roundtable where former Commanders employees shared their experiences with sexual harassment, verbal abuse, and other misconduct during their employment. The former employees explained that the NFL had failed to address these issues or take steps to prevent future misconduct and called on the NFL to release the results of their internal investigation.
As one of the most prominent workplaces in America, the NFL has failed to set appropriate standards for handling workplace misconduct. As the result of the Committee’s investigation, Chairwoman Maloney has introduced legislation to rein in the abuse of non-disclosure, confidentiality, and non-disparagement agreements in the workplace and create new protections for employees whose professional images are used for illegitimate purposes.