May 1st, 2012

Former Minnesota Viking quarterback Brett Favre has been called on to testify in a sexual harassment lawsuit surrounding text message he allegedly sent while playing for the Jets. The lawsuit alleges that while Favre was the starting quarterback for the Jets, he sent numerous inappropriate text messages to two massage therapists who were employees of the team.

According to the two female employees, they brought the inappropriate messages to the attention of the team management. The employees were likely hoping that the team would address this situation and take appropriate steps to deal with it and ensure that it did not occur again in the future. But the two female employees claim that rather than addressing the situation properly, the team simply terminated them.

While the specific facts underlying the civil case involving Favre remain to be determined by the court, the situation described by the team’s female employees is not uncommon. Unfortunately, many employers retaliate against the employees that are the victims of sexual harassment rather than taking steps to ensure that no employees are exposed to this type of hostile work environment.

Even as uninvolved third-parties, just reading news reports about the allegations in most sexual harassment cases is enough to make most people feel very uncomfortable. In this case Favre is accused of texting one of the female employees, “Brett here. You and Crissy want to get together? I’m all alone. Kinda lonely tonight. I guess I have bad intentions.”While it makes the casual news reader uncomfortable, it creates a hostile and intolerable work environment for an employee at whom messages like this are directed.

Source: USA Today, “Brett Favre to testify in sexual harassment suit,” Robert, Klemko, May 01, 2012.