- REUTERS/Dylan Martinez (BRITAIN)
Oprah Winfrey is being sued by a former employee who is claiming the OWN Network discriminated against her.
The former employee, Carolyn Hommel, filed a lawsuit on Friday in Los Angeles Superior Court alleging that she was the victim of sex and pregnancy discrimination.
In the filing Hommel claims she was first hired by OWN in 2010 as a senior director of scheduling and acquisitions.
Hommel claims that she received positive performance reviews and feedback, and even suggests she was informed she was on track to make vice president. However, the employer-employee relationship turned sour when she was later replaced by a temporary employee after she took medical leave during her pregnancy.
The employee claims that her various duties were slowly taken away from her one by one and transferred to the temporary employee. The plaintiff goes on to claim that she was later even excluded from various meetings that she would have usually been part of.
Hommel gave broth to her daughter in February 2012, and just a month later on March 19, 2012 she was given notice of her employment termination, according to the filing.
She claims that she was then encouraged to apply separately for the vice president position, which she did, but was ultimately unsuccessful. In relation to that application, Hommel also claims that her immediate boss, Michael Garner, fabricated an inaccurate performance review that made her "job duties and responsibilities appear less 'senior' and therefore not a candidate for the new vice president position."
The claim insists that the reason for her termination was ultimately because she was pregnant and required medical leave, and she now claims unspecified damages for discrimination.
Hommel is being represented by Michael Bononi and Christy Granieri of Bononi Law Group. The OWN Network has not yet publicly made any statement in relation to the lawsuit.
Here is a video clip of Oprah's famous interview with Michael Jackson: