Tuesday, October 2, 2007

MSG Sexual Harassment Suit - Update

Quick follow-up to today's earlier post re: Isiah Thomas' legal woes, here's the link for the post: http://zergbane.blogspot.com/2007/10/whats-moving-needle-october-1-2007.html

Here's the latest from The Grey Lady with news of the verdict: http://www.nytimes.com/2007/10/02/sports/basketball/03garden-cnd.html?hp

Bottom line: the Knicks and Isiah Thomas have been found guilty of sexually harassing Anucha Browne Sanders. The jury has decided that the Knicks owe punitive damages to Browne Sanders but Isiah Thomas does not. This is a partial victory for Thomas. In general, even highly compensated employees are covered under the general umbrella of their corporate employer so it's not an exoneration that Thomas will not be personally liable. Employers must take ultimate responsibility for the workplace environment and the "tone at the top." This principle of ultimate accountability exists in most organizations including the military.

One final note: there are two types of damages: punitive and compensatory (which is further broken into physical and non-physical). The judge will determine compensatory damages, and the jury will decide punitivie damages. Punitive damages are fully taxable as income. Non-physical compensatory damages are also taxable, though physical compensatory damages are not.

It's not clear to me what tools the judge and jurors will use in determining the damages.

In a bit.

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