Pregnancy discrimination complaints have been soaring in recent years, but still, the sex discrimination lawsuit against Oprah Winfrey's cable network was stunning. Carolyn Hommel, a former senior director of scheduling and acquisitions at OWN, alleges that OWN committed "acts of oppression, fraud or malice," freezing her out of her job and not considering her for a promotion because of her pregnancy, according to the lawsuit filed Friday (via Deadline.com).
Hommel says she was hired in 2010 and had a stellar performance review her first year of employment. She alleges the problems began in August 2011, after she informed her boss she was pregnant and went on a two-week medical leave, due to a pregnancy-related health issue, the lawsuit says. When she was out of the office, she says she learned her boss hired a temporary employee. And when Hommel returned to work, she says her responsibilities were gradually taken away from her and she was excluded from meetings, according to the lawsuit. In March 2012, a month after giving birth, Hommel said she was laid off. She applied for a job as vice president and was rejected.
The lawsuit doesn't name Oprah Winfrey as a defendant; the suit is aimed at the network and Hommel's former manager. The Oprah Winfrey Network went live in January 2011. It has struggled to find an audience. The OWN network didn't immediately respond to an AOL Jobs request for comment.
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