“Oprah Hit With Lawsuit”. It’s not a headline you expect to see, especially when it’s followed by the words “sex discrimination”. But that’s exactly what’s happening to the iconic talk show host, who has a very disgruntled former employee on her hands.
According to TMZ, Carolyn Hommel–who was senior director of scheduling and acquisitions at OWN–has filed a lawsuit against Winfrey after she says she lost her job after taking time off to have her baby. Hommel was hired in 2010 and says her job performance was always exemplary, that she was even on the right track to move up to vice president; however, one month after her baby was born, she says, she learned that her duties had been taken over by a temporary employee and she was told she would have to reapply for the vice president job. When she did, she was promptly passed over.
Hommel also claims her immediate supervisor, Michael Garner, wrote a performance review that wasn’t exactly glowing and “made Hommel’s job duties and responsibilities appear less ‘senior’ and therefore not a candidate for the new vice president position.”
The suit seeks unspecified damages on the grounds of sex and pregnancy discrimination and “failure to prevent discrimination, retaliation and willful failure to pay wages upon discharge or termination” .