A federal judge on Tuesday stood by his decision to send an employment lawsuit filed against the Saints by owner Tom Benson’s former personal assistant to arbitration in front of NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell.
Plaintiff Rodney Henry had asked U.S. District Judge Carl Barbier to reconsider his ruling of last month.
Henry said Goodell can’t be impartial in the dispute because Benson is one of the people to whom the commissioner reports. But Barbier disagreed, saying Henry should first see what the outcome of the arbitration is and then, if necessary, turn to the courts to challenge Goodell’s impartiality.
Attorneys spent two hours Monday discussing what it would take to settle a federal lawsuit i…
In papers filed earlier this year, Henry accused the Saints of violating his civil rights by firing him after he complained that Benson’s wife, Gayle, had discriminated him because he is black. Henry — who is seeking damages — also alleged that the team had refused to pay him for overtime work done while tending to the Bensons’ various needs, among other things.
The Saints denied Henry’s accusations and said a work agreement he signed required him to take any issues he had with the team to Goodell.
Henry has said he worked as Benson’s personal assistant for more than 20 years before he was fired on June 24, 2015.
His case is not directly involved in the court battles that have ensnared Benson’s family for more than a year, though he was questioned in one of those disputes.