Cyrus Mehri has been fighting Corporate America on behalf of workers for over 25 years and he has a track record of fearlessness and success. He has led or co-led some of the largest and most significant race and gender cases in U.S. history and gone up against some of America’s most powerful companies, including Ford Motor Company, Morgan Stanley, John Hancock, Smith Barney, and Wachovia/Wells Fargo. His results have been groundbreaking, including his settlement with Texaco, which resulted in a $176 million award for discrimination, his settlement with Coca-Cola, which resulted in a $192 million award, and his successful challenge to Wall Street firms resulting in over $114 million in payouts. The hallmark of Cyrus’ settlements has been innovative results that ensure the workers’ well-being going forward.
As a co-founder with the late Johnnie L. Cochran Jr. of the Fritz Pollard Alliance, Cyrus developed the Rooney Rule concept and worked with the NFL and NFL legends John Wooten, Kellen Winslow, Harry Carson and Coach Tony Dungy to implement it. Entering the 2017 season, a record 14 NFL Clubs are led by a minority head coach or general manager. Concerned that the Wonderlic Test underreported the true attributes of NFL players, Cyrus also co-created the Player Assessment Test, which is administered every year at the Combine to reveal to Clubs the football smarts and intangibles of prospective NFL players and to assist coaches in developing players’ potential.
The son of Iranian immigrants who came to America in search of greater opportunity, Cyrus has since childhood been deeply committed to fighting the powerful on behalf of those with less power. He has been called “Corporate America’s Scariest Opponent” and one of “Washington’s Ten Most Feared Lawyers.” The New York Times explains that, “Mr. Mehri’s vision for corporate America involves sweeping change, not the piecemeal kind,” while Fast Company Magazine says, “He is something of a one-man army in the battle against business as usual… His impact – both in terms of penalties and remedies – is undeniable.” Furthermore, Cyrus’ experience and expertise in protecting workers’ rights has resulted in his inclusion on labor-related advisory boards at Farmworkers Justice and the Peggy Browning Fund as well as the opportunity to champion a proposal to the Securities and Exchange Commission calling on U.S. Boards of Directors to focus on the important and often unappreciated role of workers to the success of U.S. companies.
He’ll challenge the NFL on behalf of the players just as he has challenged so much of Corporate America on behalf of workers. Importantly, Cyrus has achieved success not by demonizing organizations, but by lifting them up to reach their potential to inure to the benefit of his clients, the workers. He will do the same with the NFL. NFL players will never have a more effective advocate.