Cheerleader alleges gender and religious discrimination

Arizona NFL fans might be interested to know that a former Miami Dolphins cheerleader has filed a religious and gender discrimination complaint with the Florida Commission on Human Resources against the team and the NFL. The woman says she was held to different standards compared to the football players in her use of social media and expressions about her religious beliefs.

The woman, who spent three seasons with the team, gives as an example a post she made on social media about her baptism. She said cheerleading officials questioned her about the post and also asked her to stop discussing her commitment to not having sex before marriage.

She is not the first former NFL cheerleader to file such a claim. A former cheerleader for the New Orleans Saints filed a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. That complaint alleges that the team has different standards regarding fraternization and social media use for players and cheerleaders. The former Dolphins cheerleader said that after the Saints cheerleader went public, she was able to get in touch with the same attorney to represent her. The NFL released a statement saying they support a workplace free of harassment and discrimination. The Dolphins say they do not discriminate based on race, gender or religion.

Some employees might not recognize that they are victims of workplace discrimination based on these protected characteristics or may not know if what they are experiencing rises to the level of actionable discrimination. Employees might fear termination or other retaliation if they report it. An attorney might be able to explain to an employee whether the actions are likely to be considered discrimination, how to document them and what to do in case of retaliation.

Source: ABC News, "Ex-Dolphins cheerleader alleges religion and gender discrimination", April 24, 2018

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