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Silver Minings: Workplace issues mount for Mark Davis and Raiders

NDAs, unpaid bills, lawsuits and payouts

Las Vegas Raiders v Indianapolis Colts
Mark Davis
Photo by Justin Casterline/Getty Images

The Las Vegas Raiders got in hot water last week when former president Dan Ventrelle was allegedly fired for being a whistleblower by reporting the organization and Mark Davis to the NFL for creating a hostile work environment. A spokesperson from the league later stated that they were recently made aware of the allegations and are investigating, while Davis and the Raiders have yet to publicly comment on the matter.

A week later, the plot has thickened and the water is starting to boil out in the desert.

More than a dozen of the organization’s former employees spoke out about the workplace dysfunction in an article by The New York Times, citing several troubling issues ranging from failing to pay bills to racial discrimination.

“There were, [the former employees] said, lax controls over how money was spent and how people were paid and even the bungling of the payment of its taxes over several years. Not long after its move, the team missed a payment for the electric bill in its temporary office, forcing the lights to be shut off.”

The Raiders didn’t just stiff the electric company, though. Several employees, including former cheerleaders and scouts, have sued the club for underpayment and violating labor laws, according to The Times. Those suits have forced the organization to pay out over $2.5 million in settlements.

Even beyond the lawsuits, the Raiders appear to have questionable business practices. Nicole Adams, who worked in the team’s human resources department from 2016 to 2020, said she was asked to create job descriptions that would make it impossible for employees to file for overtime despite the grueling hours that can come with an NFL season.

It sounds like Ventrelle wasn't the first person to approach Davis with these concerns and those people were met with a similar fate.

“Employees who raised concerns over the team’s operations were often ignored or pushed out and given settlements and nondisclosure agreements to keep them quiet.”

“If anyone complained, they were let go,” said Adams...She was pushed out in late 2020 and declined to sign a severance agreement that she said would have prevented her from speaking about her tenure at the team. She said that Ventrelle, then the team’s general counsel, “joked he would be ready to settle if anyone came forward with a charge.”

Adams, who is black, has filed a complaint to the Nevada Equal Rights Commission against the Raiders, accusing the team of discriminating against her because of her race and retaliating against her after raising concerns about pay disparities and unequal treatment.

In other words, it looks like Davis and the organization have had to deal with several legal issues since moving to Las Vegas and it doesn’t seem like those will end anytime soon.

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