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Fox Sports: "Zach Arnold's Fight Opinion site is one of the best spots on the Web for thought-provoking MMA pieces."

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Allegedly groping female fighters with breast exams under color of law is predatory

By Zach Arnold | October 20, 2017

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A public official allegedly violating a female individual by groping her boobs under the guise of legal authority is the textbook definition of sexual harassment. Literally. Read statute 1604.11 of the 1964 Civil Rights Act. It’s right there in plain English.

There’s a reason Americans trash the TSA as the spawn of satan. Groping women and children is not OK. Public agencies shouldn’t be allowed to act in such a manner.

It’s especially not OK if a doctor, acting as an agent of an athletic commission, supposedly tells a fighter that they have to undergo a breast exam or else get their fight canceled.

When two high-profile MMA female fighting legends come out and accuse an athletic commission of being groped under the color of law, that’s a story. The problem is that we don’t know enough information to fill in the fact pattern.

What is the current fact pattern?

Right now, there are allegations.

What we don’t know:

The lack of disclosure on really important details makes this an incomplete story. More data is needed before some gumshoe reporting can proceed, especially on Public Records Act requests. PRAs in Massachusetts are relatively easy to file.

I am accepting all tips & leads regarding information on these claims. My e-mail address for this story is zarnold9000@gmail.com. All communications will be kept confidential if requested.

The good news and the bad news

The good news is that Massachusetts has clear instructions for any victim of sexual harassment on what to do and how to fight back. Thumbs up.

The bad news is that Massachusetts, like most other American states, has strict time guidelines in place.

If you’re an employee filing a claim against an employer with EEOC and intend on a Federal court case, you have up to 300 days to file a complaint.

If you’re filing a claim involving state law or a state agency, you have up to six months to file a complaint with the the Massachusetts Committee Against Discrimination. You can also file a damages claim against the state Athletic Commission within six months.

Filing a damages claim against an Athletic Commission goes smoother with an attorney writing the letter but you can just as easily write the claim letter with a little research and some Google Scholar background reading.

The state can either respond to your claims in a timely fashion or ignore the claim. If the state rejects or ignores your claim, you can sue. If the state gives you a pathetic settlement offer, you can also reject it and sue.

The majority of Americans don’t understand that suing a public agency is a different set of rules than suing an individual citizen. Sovereign immunity gives a public agency an advantage in knowing what’s coming and a chance to either reach a settlement or gird their loins for what’s coming next.

Filing a complaint with a state agency costs little or no money. It puts you on the right path and increases your options on what to do next.

You can hire an attorney on contingency or on a limited fee basis if you want to file in state or Federal court.

You can also go to small claims court. The limit is $7,000 in damages per case. The great news is that the state agency you sue in small claims can’t have their attorney representing them. And if you win your case, you got yourself a judgment.

Even a small claims judgment can get a state bureaucrat demoted or fired.

How should future female fighters handle breast exam ultimatums

If you don’t have breast implants… and any agent of an athletic commission orders you to undergo a breast exam (with no specific health/safety rule on the books), just say no. Force the issue. If/when an athletic commission cancels your fight, immediately file a damages claim against the athletic commission and file a claim with the appropriate state agency to start the clock.

Negative media coverage only moves the needle so much. Take action in the courts. Getting the ball rolling is simpler than it appears and it works.

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