LOS ANGELES — A federal judge on Friday sided with a California consumer protection attorney who had accused the NFL of discriminating against her and her clients by refusing to pay them fees for representing them against sexual harassment claims.
A federal appeals court in Los Angeles upheld a Los Angeles Superior Court ruling that the NFL was required to pay for a lawyer to represent a player who was accused of sexual harassment.
The decision came less than two weeks after a federal judge in Los Gatos, Calif., denied the league’s request to dismiss a sexual harassment case brought by two former players who alleged that they were retaliated against by the league for speaking out against sexual misconduct.
The case involved two former NFL players, including the league Hall of Fame quarterback who was fired by the San Francisco 49ers for sexually harassing female players.
The case was filed by the players’ lawyers after they were told that they could not represent the two former team employees who alleged harassment by the NFL.
The players alleged that the league retaliated by refusing them access to their attorneys.
The NFL said it was not responsible for the actions of the NFLPA, which it also has said is independent.
The ruling in Los Gugueres case came in response to a lawsuit filed by two attorneys who represented former players in the case.
The lawsuit claimed that the lawyers were paid to represent the former players, but not to represent other clients.
The attorneys argued that the former team owners should be able to collect fees for their representation of former players if they wanted to.
The court ruled that the two attorneys should be compensated in accordance with California’s labor law, which is similar to that of most states.
In a ruling dated Thursday, U.S. District Judge Joseph R. Orenstein found that the labor law’s requirements for an attorney to represent another party’s interests in a dispute were too broad.
Orenstein ruled that in many cases, the attorney would have been entitled to receive fees for his or her work.
The judge said that the union had failed to show that any of the former employees were discriminated against.
In his ruling, Orenson said the union did not show that it was discriminating against the former employee or the former player.
He said the attorneys would have needed to show “that the NFL’s decision to refuse the former union employees access to the union’s legal counsel is a matter of actual malice.”
The judge said the two employees had been told that their representation would not be available to the other former players.
Ostenstein wrote that it is unlikely that the players could have made such a claim.
In its brief, the union argued that Orensteins ruling was premature because it was a matter for California labor law.
The judge agreed with the union, ruling that California labor laws, which are generally similar to federal labor law but are not binding, would apply.
The union said it would appeal.