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Ex-Raiders employee files federal lawsuit against team

A former Raiders employee has filed a federal lawsuit against the team, after previously accusing the organization of discriminating against her.

Nicole Brown-Adams filed a complaint against the Raiders with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission after she was fired in November 2020. Brown-Adams, who is Black, accused the team in the complaint of discriminating against her because of her race and retaliating against her after she reported concerns about pay disparity and unequal treatment.

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission since has issued Brown-Adams a right-to-sue notice, according to the federal lawsuit filed Tuesday.

“As a direct and proximate result of Defendant’s retaliation against Plaintiff, she suffered and will continue to suffer economic damages and non-economic damages including anxiety, humiliation, and emotional distress,” according to the lawsuit.

Attorneys for the Raiders did not reply to a request for comment on Thursday.

Brown-Adams was hired by the team in February 2016 and worked in human resources for nearly five years. In August 2020, she noticed that a female attorney was being paid less than her male counterpart and complained about the pay disparity to the team’s management, according to the lawsuit.

Shortly after the complaint, the Raiders “manufactured a complaint” against Brown-Adams regarding her communications with outside vendors that performed background checks on incoming employees, according to the lawsuit.

The team also reviewed Brown-Adams’ work with an outside vendor on the Raiders’ payroll software. According to the lawsuit, the team said that “despite doing what she was told to do, she exceeded her authority in the discussions with the vendor.”

The Raiders issued a final written warning to Brown-Adams on Oct. 30, 2020, regarding her work with the vendors, and she was fired on Nov. 19, 2020, according to the lawsuit.

Brown-Adams previously has said that she was directed to create job descriptions that allowed the company to prevent paying employees overtime. When she questioned the pay disparities between the lawyers, Brown-Adams has said, she was berated by her human resources supervisor.

She also previously has said that she was repeatedly made uncomfortable over the clothes she wore to work and that she was kissed by a former employee who was allowed to continue working despite executives knowing about his inappropriate behavior.

Daniel Watkins, Brown-Adams’ attorney, did not reply to a request for comment.

A Las Vegas Review-Journal investigation found that Brown-Adams was just one of several former female employees who accused the company of having a hostile workplace with a pattern of harassment, forced demotions and unequal treatment. Since 2013, at least 10 lawsuits have been filed against the Raiders by former employees alleging wrongdoing and discrimination.

Multiple high-profile Raiders employees have left the team since 2021, including head coach Jon Gruden, who resigned in October 2021 after racist, misogynistic and anti-LGBTQ emails he had written were publicized.

Gruden and the NFL have been locked in a legal battle for over a year since Gruden filed a lawsuit in Clark County District Court alleging that the emails were leaked in an attempt to ruin his career and reputation.

Contact Katelyn Newberg at knewberg@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0240. Follow @k_newberg on Twitter.

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