'Sexual Harassment Culture' Allegations Tarnish Gold Medal Dreams

Author:Ms Katie Anderson
Profession:Strasburger & Price, L.L.P.

Olympic stories are supposed to be about athletes who overcome incredible odds to succeed. Unfortunately, the first big story from the upcoming London Olympic Games involves more dirt and scandal than Cinderella's story of hopes and dreams. Kelley Hardwick, a security director with the National Basketball Association ("NBA"), filed suit last week in New York state court alleging that U.S. Women's Olympic basketball team coach and head coach for the University of Connecticut's women's team, Luigi "Geno" Auriemma, "stalked, assaulted and battered (her) by following her to her room, grabbing her about the arm and attempting to forcibly kiss her on the mouth" in 2009 while abroad in Russia. Of note to employers, however, are Hardwick's allegations against the NBA. Hardwick sued the NBA (her employer), as well as its umbrella organization that oversees the men's and women's basketball teams, USA Basketball Inc. She claims that the NBA was both directly involved in Auriemma's conduct towards her and also discriminated against her through a "corporate culture of gender discrimination." Her lawsuit alleges that the NBA failed to conduct a thorough investigation of the incident with...

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