The Washington Football Team has been fined $10 million after a investigation found the team’s workplace culture to be “highly unprofessional,” especially toward female employees.
The nearly year-long investigation, led by independent counsel Beth Wilkinson, uncovered frequent instances of bullying, intimidation, and reports of sexual harassment.
“Many described the culture as one of fear, and numerous female employees reported having experienced sexual harassment and a general lack of respect in the workplace,” the report says.
Many of these instances, according to the report, went unnoticed or ignored by team leadership.
“In some instances, senior executives engaged in inappropriate conduct themselves, including use of demeaning language and public embarrassment. This set the tone for the organization and led to key executives believing that disrespectful behavior and more serious misconduct was acceptable in the workplace,” the report says.
Money from the $10 million fine will go toward organizations promoting character education, anti-bullying, and healthy relationships, as well as programs dedicated to improving workplace environments, especially for women.
Owner Dan Snyder has taken responsibility for the inappropriate workplace culture, and Tanya Snyder, named co-CEO of the team last week, has assumed daily responsibilities for the team for the “next several months,” according to the league.
“I have learned a lot in the past few months about how my club operated, and the kind of workplace that we had,” Snyder said in a statement. “It is now clear that the culture was not what it should be, but I did not realize the extent of the problems or my role in allowing that culture to develop and continue.”