It has been reported that former OWN employee, Carolyn Hommel is suing Oprah’s network. Allegedly, the company’s execs denied her a Vice President position because she left for maternity leave. Hommel states that she was successfully climbing the corporate ladder until she became pregnant and was required to take a medical leave. Her gripe is directed specifically towards her male bosses who she claims fired her last March when she returned to resume her position as senior director of scheduling and acquisitions. She was told that her layoff was due to “restructuring.”
The former employee further asserts that although she was qualified for the VP position, her boss, Michael Scott Garner, OWN’s senior VP of Planning, Scheduling and Acquisitions, hired Whitney Holland, her maternity leave replacement, instead. Hommel’s discrimination claims are also due to the fact that Holland is not pregnant and does not suffer from medical conditions related to childbirth, according to the 19-page report available on Deadline.
The lawsuit filed in LA Superior Court on Friday states “Hommel has suffered and will continue to suffer damages in terms of lost wages, lost bonuses, lost benefits, and other pecuniary loss according to proof,”. It goes on to say, “Hommel has also suffered and will continue to suffer anxiety, worry, embarrassment, humiliation, mental anguish, and severe emotional distress.”
Carolyn Hommel is seeking general and special damages as well as legal fees. Oprah has not yet commented on the situation.
Written by: Lexine Emille