House Oversight Committee chair introduces two bills inspired by Washington Commanders workplace dysfunction

Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney speaks during Governor Kathy
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As the U.S. House Committee on Oversight & Reform continues to explore the workplace dysfunction within the Washington Commanders organization, the chair of the Committee has identified two specific areas in which legislation would be useful, due to the lessons learned from the Commanders situation.

On Friday, the Committee announced that Rep. Carolyn Maloney introduced legislation aimed at restricting the use of nondisclosure agreements in an employment setting. She also introduced a bill regarding the use of images obtained of employees within the course of their employment.

The two bills introduced today would establish standards for employers to protect workers and encourage them to foster workplace cultures that aim to prevent — rather than conceal — workplace misconduct,” Maloney said. “I strongly believe that those responsible for the culture of harassment and abuse at the Washington Commanders must be held accountable, and that as lawmakers, we must use our legislative powers to protect other employees from this serious misconduct.”

The statement from the Committee also contains an important passage regarding the NFL’s failure to implement a recommendation made by Mary Jo White in the aftermath of the events that resulted in the abrupt sale of the Panthers.

“In 2018, following the NFL’s investigation into allegations of sexual harassment and discrimination against the then-owner of the Carolina Panthers, Jerry Richardson, the League failed to implement recommendations by an independent investigator to prohibit the use of nondisclosure agreements that ‘limit reporting of potential violations or cooperation in League investigations under the Personal Conduct Policy,'” the Committee said. “As a result, NFL teams such as the Washington Commanders can still use NDAs to evade accountability and silence employees who have experienced or witnessed harassment and discrimination in the workplace.”

Presumably, the league has admitted to the Committee within the confines of the ongoing probe that White’s recommendation was not implemented. Previously, the league had failed to respond to questions regarding whether NDA usage had been limited.

The Accountability for Workplace Misconduct Act, as explained by the Committee, “would safeguard against the abuse of NDAs by prohibiting employers from using these agreements to limit, prevent, or interfere with an employee’s ability to disclose harassment, discrimination, or retaliation to government agencies or Congress.” The law also would create “uniform requirements for employers’ handling of workplace investigations and would improve awareness and transparency of the process for employees.”

The Professional Images Protection Act, per the Committee, “would guard against employer abuse of employee images and ensure that employees have a say in how and when their images are used for business purposes.” This bill flows from the alleged use of outtakes from cheerleader video shoots by team executives.

For those who utter the knee-jerk cry of “Doesn’t Congress have better things to do?” when the House undertakes investigations like this, Congress can indeed do multiple things at once. And these two bills become tangible examples of the potential evolution of employment laws sparked by a specific investigation. in order to limit specific abuses that could be occurring in businesses throughout the nation.

33 responses to “House Oversight Committee chair introduces two bills inspired by Washington Commanders workplace dysfunction

  1. Maybe they should get to work as fast on some items that have been an issue for far longer than this.

  2. If there’s any group who’s expertise is dysfunction, it’s Congress.

  3. Just take away the antitrust exemption already. All of these scumbag owners make me sick

  4. Perhaps they should work on reducing gasoline, energy, medical and food costs just as vigorously ?

  5. Lol, “take down these oligarchs who are trying to destroy society”.

    NFL owners do not have that power.

    The NFL (league) did put a halftime show on celebrating Crip’n on National TV recently. Maybe that was too much?

    Either way, don’t look for the Senate to jump on this like the House. In fact, I bet it doesn’t get the needed 60 votes for passage. Again making this all trivial as rolling blackouts in August become a problem.

  6. Force the sale of the team and use the proceeds to build an oil refinery at Fedex Field

  7. I just wish something would “stick” onto this Teflon maggot so the NFL can be rid of the sniveling Snyder’s once and for all

  8. Before all you’freedom’ pushers out there start talking about ‘big government’, I just want to say that freedom does and should have limits. If there were no laws and government stayed out of everything, the world would be even more corrupt than it is now. Yes, I know the government is corupt as well, but we can’t help everything. If people were good and trustworthy – and in a perfect world – freedom would reign and be great. But people are not good and definitely not trustworthy! So things like this need to happen to keep these people in check. I despise big government too, but sometimes things are necessary. Look at how much freedom people were given with the pandemic. That is why it is stil here. Because people can not be trusted when left to their own devices. I believe that when given the freedom to do so, people will almost always make the wrong choices, especially if it benefits them. Sometimes interference is the right thing. I just hope it doesn’t go too far.

  9. Maybe the 31 other owners will have a sharp negative reaction to this Congressional attention and respond by voting in mass to rid the NFL of Dan Snyder.

  10. This is needed legislation. Consider that anyone not in favor of this is not in favor of the employees in the workplace. Yes, there are other pressing needs, but using that fact as an excuse not to address this is ridiculous at best. It’s like saying, “Yes, we need a new stove because the old one dies, but hey, the house needs a new paint job, so we can’t consider getting a stove, even though we can afford to do both.”

  11. This is needed legislation. Consider that anyone not in favor of this is not in favor of the employees in the workplace. Yes, there are other pressing needs, but using that fact as an excuse not to address this is ridiculous at best. It’s like saying, “Yes, we need a new stove because the old one died, but hey, the house needs a new paint job, so we can’t consider getting a stove, even though we can afford to do both.”

  12. Funny I guess they don’t realize that very often singing the NDA is what gives them the payout. Now that they want to get rid of that now everything will have to be battled out in court. I wonder how many of the oversight committees are lawyers and know this. I mean no one like court battle more than lawyers.

  13. The owners just need to run out the clock for a few more months. Soon there will be a new sheriff in town, and the next Congress isn’t coming after the NFL over workplace dysfunction.

  14. buffman716 says:
    June 18, 2022 at 4:08 pm
    Funny I guess they don’t realize that very often singing the NDA is what gives them the payout.
    ___________

    The NDA does not give the payout. Rather, it is the risk of a higher damage award at trial that triggers the settlement. Agreeing to a non-disclosure agreement may result in a higher settlement. After all, that confidentiality is worth something.

    The problem is that the NDAs enable the abusers to seek more victims. Snyder and his cronies don’t care about how much the NDAs cost them. What they care about is maintaining the secrecy that allows them to hunt new victims.

  15. eaglesfan22 says:
    June 18, 2022 at 4:22 pm
    The owners just need to run out the clock for a few more months. Soon there will be a new sheriff in town, and the next Congress isn’t coming after the NFL over workplace dysfunction.
    __________

    If we get the type of Congress that some people want there not be any workplace protection in any area. Safety regulations, restrictions on child labor, and equal employment opportunities will be gutted.

  16. NDAs allow rich people to commit crimes and not only get away with it, but they can continue to commit the crimes.

  17. Imagine being dumb enough to get mad when Congress tries to enact laws that improve the lives of American workers. Way to go, PFT commenters. Way to go.

  18. Yes, we know they can do multiple things at once lol. But there’s probably a few hundred things more important they can do.

  19. Michael E says:
    June 18, 2022 at 6:31 pm
    Yes, we know they can do multiple things at once lol. But there’s probably a few hundred things more important they can do.
    ___________

    What do you consider to be more important than ensuring decent working conditions?

  20. Glad to know Congress is tackling the tough issues of the United States while the Biden administration is burning down the rest of the country.

  21. Perhaps they should work on reducing gasoline, energy, medical and food costs just as vigorously ?

    ___________________________________________________________________
    They tried, guess who voted against it?

  22. dstegesaurus says:
    June 18, 2022 at 1:06 pm

    Just take away the antitrust exemption already. All of these scumbag owners make me sick

    ————————

    The NFL doesn’t have and never has had antitrust exemption.

    Only MLB has antitrust exemption.

  23. They should also retroactively void all NDA’s used by the Commanders through Snyder’s ownership for the purpose of these hearings. That way Goodell cannot hide behind them as he currently does. Also fine Snyder $10M and loss of the anti-trust provisions granted the NFL for each day he avoids testifying. Pocket change to him but these owners hate to lose a penny. Also the NFLPA will have the ability to file suit immediately for business practices no longer covered by an exemption.

  24. I’m all for any legislature that prevents the wealthy from exploiting their workers!

  25. The NFL does have an anti-trust exemption – the ability to collectively negotiate TV contracts as one group, rather than having individual teams being able to negotiate TV contracts individually.

  26. It will be easy enough to stall until November when Congress will flip seats and this issue goes to the end of the line to never be seen or heard about again.

  27. This has to be the dumbest thing I have ever read. It sounds like what our corrupt G0vernment does, you know the people that try to control every single aspect of your life.

  28. Will it apply to Congress and Government Officials ? Usually these types of Bills don’t apply to them. They should, but never do.

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