South-Western - Management  
MSG’s Dolan Explains Why He Fired Browne Sanders
Topic Human Resources Management
Key Words Sexual harassment
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News Story

Jurors in federal court heard Madison Square Garden Chairman James Dolan explain why he fired Anucha Browne Sanders, a female MSG executive.

Dolan claims Browne Sanders was fired because she willfully interfered in a company probe of her sexual harassment allegations against Knicks coach Isiah Thomas.

Dolan said that he did not consult with MSG lawyers about his decision and would have overridden the advice of the lawyers if they told him not to fire her.

Browne Sanders testified that Thomas routinely addressed her with the word “bitch.” When asked if this word was appropriate in the workplace, Dolan said “No, it is not appropriate, it is also not appropriate to murder someone.” He did not explain his analogy further.

Witness Faye Brown testified that Browne Sanders had complained about Thomas’ treatment of her, which included calling her derogatory names and using obscenities in addressing her. Brown also testified, however, that she had never seen Thomas using foul language or talking disparagingly about Browne Sanders.

The defense is expected to begin its case today.


Name at least four different types of sexual harassment that can occur in the workplace. What form or forms of sexual harassment does it appear that Anucha Browne Sanders was exposed to at Madison Square Garden?


James Dolan appears to believe that the workplace has become too litigious, since he claimed he intentionally did not seek out or follow the advice of lawyers in the situation. Do you agree with Dolan that the workplace is too litigious? Do you think managers are too limited by the fear of lawsuits to be able to act on poor performance in the workplace? Or do you think that our society does not do enough to protect against the sexual harassment and discrimination that takes place in American businesses? Be prepared to discuss your thoughts in class.


What do you think the outcome of this case will be? What will be the deciding factors?

Source “MSG’s Dolan Explains Why He Fired Browne Sanders,” Newsday, September 19, 2007, pNA.
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