Oprah Winfrey's OWN Network is facing a lawsuit from a former employee who alleges she is a victim of "sex and pregnancy discrimination." The former employee alleges she lost her job at OWN because she had to take a pregnancy medical leave.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, in a lawsuit filed Friday in Los Angeles Superior Court, Carolyn Hommel says OWN hired her in 2010 as a senior director of scheduling and acquisition. But in spite of having received a favorable performance review and advised that she was being considered for the position of vice president, her duties were gradually taken over by a temporary employee after she took a medical leave during pregnancy.
Gossipcop reports that in the filing, Hommel alleges that after she returned from leave she was excluded from numerous meetings as the temporary employee gradually assumed more and more of her duties.
Hommel says that a month after giving birth to her daughter, she was laid off. However, she was encouraged to re-apply for the position of vice president. She put in application but it was rejected.
She claims that her superior Michael Garner, wrote a false performance review that "made [her] job duties and responsibilities appear less 'senior' and therefore not a candidate for the new vice president position." She alleges that the report ruined her chances of securing the vice president position.
Hommel alleges that her dismissal from work was the direct result of her pregnancy leave. She is seeking unspecified damages.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Hommel's former boss Garner, is also a defendant in the suit, which was filed on behalf of Hommel by Michael Bononi and Christy Granieri of Bononi Law Group. It alleges "sex discrimination, disability discrimination, failure to prevent discrimination, retaliation and willful failure to pay wages upon discharge or termination," The Hollywood Reporter says.
The Inquisitr notes it has been a rather rough week for Oprah. The media carried reports earlier in the week that Oprah injured herself while opening birthday presents.