Monday, January 3, 2011

Brett Favre and Text Message Sexual Harassment

ABC News is reporting that two former New York Jets massage therapists have filed a sexual harassment lawsuit against Brett Favre in state court. The suit also names the New York Jets and the woman who hires the massage therapists for the team. No, this is not the infamous below-the-belt photos story... it's all new harassment.

The new case is another shining example of the potential for text message sexual harassment. Mr. Favre allegedly sent text messages stating "Brett here, you and Crissy want to get together, I'm all alone," and "Kinda lonely tonight, I guess I have bad intentions." The Plaintiffs claim they refused the advances and were never offered work with the Jets again.

A year and a half ago I blogged that text message harassment was no LOLing matter. While harassment is harassment regardless of the method of communication, text messaging presents two major problems: 1. There's a record of it; and 2. It's in the alleged perpetrators own words. For defendants, the messages are  almost impossible to deny, and they no doubt sound even worse in a courtroom than they did in the first instance.

New technologies, new liability risks. T-E-X-T Text Text Text! (that was my awful play on J-E-T-S Jets Jets Jets; I apologize).

Update (1/4/2011): A copy of the Complaint is now available here (via Deadspin).

HT: Rich Meneghello via Twitter for the heads up on the ABC News report and the copy of the Complaint.

Sidenote: I would be remiss if I didn't acknowledge a new employment law blog on the scene. One of my Twitter contacts, Eric Meyer (@Eric_B_Meyer) launched his new blog, The Employer Handbook, today. He also had some kind words for me in today's post and in his Thank You note. It should be a great resource for "businesses in PA, DE, NJ, and across the country."

Posted by Philip Miles, an attorney with McQuaide Blasko in State College, Pennsylvania in the firm's civil litigation and labor and employment law practice groups.