Last Friday, in Los Angeles Supreme Court, Carolyn Hommel, a former employee of OWN, filed a lawsuit against the company for sex discrimination and willful failure to pay wages upon discharge or termination.
Hommel states she was hired in 2010 as senior director of scheduling and acquisitions at the network, but even though she never received an unfavorable performance review, she was replaced by a temporary employee when she was forced to take medical leave during her pregnancy.
The complaint alleges that on March 19, 2012, shortly after giving birth to her daughter, Hommel was told she was being laid off. Although she was encouraged to reapply for a vice president job, she was passed over.
According to the lawsuit, Hommel’s boss, Michael Garner, fabricated a performance review that “made Hommel’s job duties and responsibilities appear less ‘senior’ and therefore not a candidate for the new vice president position.”
Hommel is claiming that her demotion and layoff are a direct result of her becoming pregnant and requiring a medical leave. She is seeking unspecified damages.