Oprah Winfrey's OWN Network is being sued by a former employee, who claims she was sexually discriminated against when she fell pregnant, Hollywood Gossip has reported.
According to the report, Carolyn Hommel, a female former executive with the network, claims that not only was she discriminated against whilst working, but she was also fired simply because she was with child. The lawsuit Hommel filed on Friday (Feb 1) states that she was hired by OWN in 2010 as senior director of scheduling and acquisitions and was rising through the estimations of her peers and on course for being promoted to Vice President with OWN. That was until she fell pregnant of course, after which her numerous responsibilities were handed off to "temporary employees" and ultimately ended with her being fired from the company.
Her lawsuit goes on to explain that Carolyn's duties were being downplayed by her seniors to make her seem as though she was the weaker candidate for the sought-after vice president role and that her former boss, Michael Garner, fabricated her performance review to make it seem as if her "job duties and responsibilities appear less 'senior'." She was fired one month after giving birth before she could return from maternity leave, but told to reapply for the vice presidency, which she did do only to be turned down.
Oprah is yet to respond to the lawsuit brought against her.