Former NBA Commissioner David Stern Added as Defendant in Employment Discrimination Lawsuit against League
Female Security Official Claims Former Hoops Honcho Pushed Her Out of Job after She Complained of Sexual Harassment – Cites Threats and Intimidation
Earlier this week, State Supreme Court Judge Cynthia S. Hern ruled that former NBA Commissioner David Stern must defend himself against a lawsuit claiming that he constructively dismissed Kelley Hardwick, a former league security official, after she complained about being sexually harassed and the NBA's hostile work environment. The suit alleges that Stern and other NBA officials created a work environment in which Hardwick was threatened and intimidated in two meetings with Stern. As a result, her job became increasingly hostile, and she was forced to quit.
Hardwick's allegations are part of newly filed amended complaint that details how she, a former NYPD detective and highly regarded NBA employee since 2002, was accosted by Geno Auriemma, at the time the coach of the USA Basketball Women's team at a USAB training camp in Russia in 2009. The NBA provided the women's team with its security detail, led by Hardwick, and Hardwick was intended to lead it to the 2012 London Olympics.
Hardwick complained to her NBA supervisors about the incident to no avail. Later she learned about a conference call with NBA officials in which Auriemma demanded that the NBA remove her from the team's security staff for the 2012 Olympics.
The latest complaint alleges that the NBA not only failed to meaningfully investigate her complaint against Auriemma, but instead did his bidding and removed her from Olympic duties. When she complained about her treatment, the NBA retaliated against her by denying her raises, promotions, and assignments.
Commenting on Judge Hern's ruling, Hardwick's attorney Randolph McLaughlin of Newman Ferrara LLP said, "Now Mr. Stern will have to answer for his failure to stop the harassment of Ms. Hardwick by the NBA. His conduct is directly linked to the NBA's culture of misogyny that condones the abuse of women."
TO VIEW THE DECISION, CLICK HERE