- Associated Press - Wednesday, March 2, 2016

NEW ORLEANS (AP) - A fired personal assistant to New Orleans Saints and Pelicans owner Tom Benson is opposing the NFL club’s efforts to have his overtime and discrimination lawsuit resolved through the league’s arbitration process.

In a motion filed this week in U.S. District Court, attorney Chris Williams says arbitration language in a contract signed by ex-Benson aide Rodney Henry is “unfair and unconscionable” because it designates as arbiter Commissioner Roger Goodell, who works for NFL owners and has a personal relationship with Benson.

The motion includes a 2004 internal memo from the Saints’ human resources department pointing out that Henry, an African American, was among salaried employees who should be filling out time cards and be eligible for overtime.

The lawsuit states Henry was never paid overtime and was discriminated against by Benson’s wife, Gayle. It also states the Saints used Henry as a pawn in a separate lawsuit brought by Tom Benson’s estranged daughter and two of his grandchildren, who’ve alleged their patriarch is mentally enfeebled and has been manipulated by his wife into ousting them from ownership positions with his pro teams. Henry’s lawsuit notes he was fired after Benson was ruled competent by the trial judge in that case.

The Bensons have denied any wrongdoing, saying they considered Henry “part of their family,” but decided a change was in the best interest of the organization.

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