Ex-Las Vegas Raiders Employee Files Discrimination Lawsuit Against Team

Posted on: December 29, 2022, 08:18h. 

Last updated on: December 30, 2022, 02:27h.

A former Las Vegas Raiders employee filed a federal discrimination lawsuit against the team on Tuesday, according to the Las Vegas Review-Journal. Nicole Brown-Adams worked as a human resources coordinator for the NFL team before she was fired in November 2020.

In a complaint filed with the Employment Opportunity Commission (EOC) shortly after her termination, Brown-Adams accused the Raiders of discriminating against her because she is African-American. According to the R-J story, her complaint alleged that the team paid her less and treated her unequally because of her race, and that she was fired in retaliation for reporting her concerns.

Nicole Brown-Adams
Nicole Brown-Adams filed a federal discrimination lawsuit against the Las Vegas Raiders on Tuesday. (Image: LinkedIn)

The EOC issued Brown-Adams a right-to-sue notice, according to the federal lawsuit filed Tuesday.

“As a direct and proximate result of defendant’s retaliation against plaintiff, she suffered and will continue to suffer economic damages and non-economic damages including anxiety, humiliation, and emotional distress,” the lawsuit claims.

Brown-Adams was hired by the Raiders in May 2016. According to her LinkedIn account, her job duties included establishing employee engagement and learning and development initiatives, managing talent acquisition, and “implementing diversity and inclusion best practices and ensured compliance of labor regulations.”

In August 2020, according to her lawsuit, Brown-Adams learned that a female attorney was being paid less than her male counterpart, and complained about the pay disparity to team management.

Shortly after she made the complaint, according to her lawsuit, the Raiders “manufactured a complaint.” They accused Brown-Adams of improperly communicating with an outside vendor that performed background checks on incoming employees.

According to the lawsuit, the team claimed that “despite doing what she was told to do, she exceeded her authority in the discussions with the vendor.”

According to the R-J, Brown-Adams previously claimed she was berated by her supervisor after questioning pay disparities. She also previously alleged sexual harassment, according to the newspaper; specifically, that a former employee kissed her without her consent, yet was allowed to continue working after management was informed about the inappropriate behavior, and that she was made to feel uncomfortable about her work wardrobe.

Not the First

An R-J investigation published in June 2022 uncovered several other former female employees who accused the Raiders of creating a hostile workplace with a pattern of harassment, unequal treatment, and forced demotions. Since 2013, according to the investigation, at least 10 lawsuits have been filed against the NFL franchise by former employees alleging discrimination and other wrongdoing.

At least 10 Raiders execs have exited the team since 2021, including longtime president Marc Badain and head coach Jon Gruden. The latter resigned in October 2021 after racist, misogynistic, and anti-LGBTQ emails he had written were made public.

The Raiders have so far remained silent about the allegations, though owner Mark Davis provided a single comment on June 21: “Eventually, I will have something to say about all of this, but not right now.”