In this enlightened age, there are still many cases of employment discrimination that go to court. We see cases in the headlines that show an employee’s retaliation against a justified termination just about as often as we see those in which the employer was found at fault for wrongful discharge. Employers need to tread carefully when reprimanding or firing an employee in order to avoid discrimination lawsuits.
A former employee of Oprah Winfrey’s OWN network is suing the network over what she feels was pregnancy discrimination. The network’s former senior director of scheduled acquisitions has filed a lawsuit accusing sex discrimination, disability discrimination, failure to prevent discrimination, retaliation, and willful failure to pay wages after discharge or termination.
The plaintiff had taken medical leave due to her pregnancy and allegedly returned to find her duties being gradually taken over by a temporary employee who had filled in during her absence. She was laid off from her position a month after her baby was born. She states outstanding performance reviews and the hint of a possible promotion before her medical leave as evidence she was discriminated against.
The general public doesn’t know the true reasons for her termination, so there is a chance her employer had a good reason to find a replacement. Sexual harassment, discrimination and other civil rights violations are common reasons for employees to file lawsuits. Companies who wish to protect themselves from lawsuits such as these can find out what their rights are by speaking with an experienced attorney.
Source: Popular Critic, “Former Employee Hits Oprah With Sex Discrimination Lawsuit,” Taylor Gordon, Feb. 3, 2013