February 14th, 2014

Report to NFL on workplace conduct/bullying at the Miami Dolphins


On Nov. 6, 2013, the National Football League hired Ted Wells and the law firm Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP to conduct an independent investigation into issues of workplace conduct at the Miami Dolphins after the departure of Jonathan Martin from the team last October.

… even the largest, strongest and fleetest person may be driven to despair by bullying, taunting and constant insults

From the Conclusion, NFL Report, Feb. 14, 2014

The long-awaited report exonerates Jonathan Martin, the player targeted for abuse by a trio of fellow players.

Many of the key report conclusions illustrate how this NFL story is one of workplace bullying: (italicized comments by WBI)

The mistreatment of Martin is consistent with a case of Workplace Bullying
   The legal team recognized that bullying is abusive conduct and that Martin was the abused party.

Martin did not fabricate his allegations of harassment
   As is true with bullied targets, they are not the liars; it is most often the abusers, the bullies, who lie.

Repeated acts of harassment contributed to Martin’s departure
   Bullying involves repeated acts

Incognito knew that the harassment affected Martin
   Perpetrators are aware that they harm others. Some derive pleasure from it.

Martin was subjected to persistent harassing language
   Persistence, again, repeated acts

The harassment was humiliating and contributed to his mental health issues
   The investigators made the causal link. Humiliation causes mental distress.

The bullying trio harassed other Dolphins personnel
   Cruelty spreads like contagion when unchecked

It is unclear the extent to which the abuse resulted from racial animus
   Illegal harassment/discrimination can be part of bullying, but bullying often is not based on race or gender.

Culture of the Dolphins offensive line does not excuse the mistreatment
   Just because it’s the NFL doesn’t mean bullying is acceptable.

Coach Philbin and the Front Office did not know about the harassment
   Complaints are often kept at the lowest level. Executives are shielded by lower-level managers.

This is a remarkable report. Read it in its entirety for yourself.

Follow the full NFL story in the Category list in the sidebar: NFL: Jonathan Martin

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This entry was posted on Friday, February 14th, 2014 at 1:17 pm and is filed under Employers Gone Wild: Doing Bad Things, NFL: Jonathan Martin. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.



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  1. […] it causes physical harm, and mental harm. The Workplace Bullying Institute has published a report: Report to NFL on workplace conduct/bullying at the Miami Dolphins, I would encourage all church leadership to read the […]

  2. […] can also read Dr. Gary Namie’s (Director, Workplace Bullying Institute) blog post on the findings of the report for more […]

  3. […] A workplace conduct policy signed by the three athletes in 2013 prohibits “unwelcome contact jokes, comments and antics; generalizations and put-downs.”  Ted Wells as well as the law firm of Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP’s independent investigations indicated that Martin was a victim of Workplace bullying as is legally defined.  They further conclude that Incognito had knowledge of the effect on Martin, but continued their actions.  http://www.workplacebullying.org/2014/02/14/nfl-5/ […]

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