Tuesday October 3, 2023

Congress Introduces Bills in Response to Commanders Investigation

  • Bills comes days before NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell is set to testify at House Oversight Committee hearing.
  • Legislation seeks to reform how non-disclosure agreements and professional images are used by employers.
Commanders Legislation
Jack Gruber/USA TODAY
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House Oversight Committee Chair Carolyn Maloney announced legislation Friday to protect employees from abuse of non-disclosure agreements and the use of their images for illicit purposes, bills that Maloney said are the result of the committee’s long-running investigation into the Washington Commanders. 

The introduction of the Accountability for Workplace Misconduct Act and Professional Images Protection Act come days before NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell will appear in front of the committee via Zoom. Commanders owner Dan Snyder declined to attend Wednesday’s hearing. 

“Our investigation has revealed significant gaps in existing federal law that allow employers to use legal agreements to prevent employees from speaking out about unlawful behavior in their workplaces and allow executives to use professional images for lewd and inappropriate purposes,” Maloney (D-NY) said in a statement. “The two bills introduced today would establish standards for employers to protect workers and encourage them to foster workplace cultures that aim to prevent — rather than conceal — workplace misconduct.”

The Oversight Committee began its investigation into the Commanders in October, a probe focused on the many allegations of workplace harassment made by current and former Commanders employees. 

While Maloney, committee member Rep. Jackie Speier (D-CA), and others have previously mentioned the need to reform how NDAs are used, the Professional Images Protection Act appears to be aimed squarely at Snyder. 

The Washington Post reported in August 2020 that longtime radio voice Larry Michael requested a DVD of “outtakes” from a 2010 cheerleader shoot for Snyder. The video included a shot of one cheerleader’s pubic area, the newspaper reported. 

“I do not have any knowledge of the 10-year-old videos referenced in the story,” Snyder said in a statement after the story was published. “I did not request their creation, and I never saw them.”

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