Former NBA Security Employee Sues League for Unlawful Retaliation

452292_70455013_12292011.jpgAfter ten years with the NBA, security official Warren Glover lost his job in July, allegedly in retaliation for reporting complaints of sexual harassment and discrimination by female employees to his superiors. Glover filed a lawsuit against the NBA and various league officials, claiming unlawful retaliation and requesting damages and lost wages.

Glover, a former lieutenant commander in the New York Police Department, first went to work for NBA security in 2001. In 2004, the NBA promoted him to security director, where he was responsible for planning security for major events like the draft, the NBA finals, and the All-Star weekend Jam Session. Glover claims that he received positive performance reviews until 2007, after he reported several alleged incidents of harassment and discrimination to his superiors. He also claims he was unfairly denied a promotion in 2006, and that he endured a pattern of demeaning treatment and discrimination because of his willingness to speak out on behalf of other employees.

Numerous women made complaints of sexual harassment, discrimination, and hostile work environments during Glover’s time with the NBA. Glover describes the attitude and response of most officials to the allegations as dismissive or hostile. An early incident allegedly occurred in 2004, when a female employee accused another security official, John Daniels, of making offensive comments after she refused unwelcome advances from him. A complaint in 2007 from a different employee accused Daniels of making “offensive and intimidating” comments and displaying pornographic material on his office computer. Glover alleges that the NBA’s senior vice president of security at the time. Bernard Tolbert, not only dismissed both claims offhand, but also threatened to fire anyone who made the second complainant aware of the first complainant’s allegations. The second complainant made further allegations regarding Daniels, including an accusation in 2010 that he spied on women in the office using the office security cameras.

Glover says that he also supported a woman who complained of several incidents occurring with Tolbert himself between 2005 and 2008. The employee alleged that Tolbert created a hostile work environment towards women in general and that he presented her with inappropriate and pornographic materials. In one incident alleged to have occurred in 2008, Tolbert gave the woman an image of a naked, obese woman on top of a man, asking her to use the image in a presentation for players about the dangers of alcohol. The employee sued both Tolbert and the NBA in 2008. Glover’s immediate superior allegedly told him that his support of the woman’s claims would hurt his career with the NBA. Glover also received harassment and threats from superiors after giving a deposition in the lawsuit in mid-2009.

The woman’s lawsuit settled in 2010, although the terms of the settlement have not been made public. Tolbert left the NBA in October 2010, reportedly due at least in part to allegations made in the employee’s lawsuit and in Glover’s deposition testimony.

In June 2011, Glover says he received honors from at least one superior to celebrate ten years of employment with the NBA. In July, he says Tolbert’s successor, James Cawley, fired him for “poor performance.”

The New York sexual harassment lawyers at Phillips & Associates represent victims of workplace sexual harassment and retaliation and fight to protect their rights. To schedule a free and confidential consultation, contact the firm today online or at (212) 248-7431.

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