Oprah Winfrey and "sex discrimination lawsuit" are words no one ever would have imagined uttering in the same sentence. That is, until now. A former OWN employee is suing Oprah, claiming that she lost her job at the star's company because she became pregnant.
Carolyn Hommel said that in 2010, she was a senior director of scheduling and acquisitions at Oprah's network and was on track to become a vice president until she became a mother. She alleges, one month after her baby was born, her duties were gradually transferred to a temporary employee, she was excluded from important meetings, and she was told she would have to reapply for the vice president job. She did not get the promotion.
A God among women, this suit could change the way the world views the queen of all media. Of course, this is more about Oprah's company than the woman herself, but she is so personally invested in this network that these accusations surely must pain her. Hommell is asking for unspecified damages on grounds of sex and pregnancy discrimination, "failure to prevent discrimination, retaliation, and willful failure to pay wages upon discharge or termination." Yikes. If her past is any indication, Oprah doesn't typically back down from a legal battle. (Remember when the beef industry went up against her in 1998?) And if Hommel loses, I cringe at the thought of what this may do to her career going forward. Either way, I sympathize with her, even if I hope her allegations are not true.
Do you believe Homme's sex discrimination claims against Oprah?
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