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Bryant Whitten, LLP

Sexual harassment, wrongful termination suit settled in Oakland

An out of court settlement was reached last month in an employment discrimination lawsuit filed by a former community relations director for the Golden State Warriors NBA basketball team. The suit accused former guard, Monta Ellis of sexual harassment, claiming the player sent the plaintiff unsolicited text messages that included explicit photos.

It wasn't until the player was traded to another team that the team's attorneys began discussions with the plaintiff's attorney. The plaintiff's attorney is not allowed to discuss any specifics of the settlement and only said that an out of court settlement was reached. A team spokesperson simply said that the claims brought by the public relations director have been 'dismissed in their entirety' and declined further comment on the matter.

The suit, filed in December of last year, alleged that Monta Ellis sent several explicit text messages to the director beginning in November of 2010 through January of 2011 while she was an employee in the community relations department for the team. The suit also alleged that the owners of the team attempted to cover up the player's behavior. The plaintiff's position was eliminated a week or so after she informed the team a reporter had asked her if she was being stalked by the player.

In addition to the sexual harassment charges, the suit alleged wrongful termination and intentional infliction of emotional distress by the team. The amount of damages sought was not released nor were any specifics about the settlement agreement. The team's management denied the allegations and said when they were made aware of a 'consensual relationship' between the player and director, they instructed them to stop.

Source: Ventura County Star, "Settlement in sex harassment suit against Warriors," June 8, 2012

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