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Wrongful termination filed against NBC Universal

Inappropriate touching, rude comments and other types of sexual harassment can lead to additional legal issues at the workplace such as wrongful termination. A former NBC Universal employee in Los Angeles filed a wrongful termination civil action in Sept. against her former employer and claimed that it created a hostile work environment by not fully investigating sexual harassment charges.

The suit was filed in a California state court. However, the media conglomerate is vigorously defending the action and had it removed to federal court.

The plaintiff claimed that her employer inadequately responded to inappropriate and gender-based sexual comments when she was employed as senior digital fulfillment specialist between 2016 and Aug. 2017. Her direct supervisor allegedly used a nickname for his genitalia and described his sexual conduct and the conduct of other male employes. He also made, according to the complaint, crude comments about an LGBTQ event and domestic violence victims.

The plaintiff charged that she discussed this alleged harassment with the employer's human resources office but there was no adequate investigation. She was not assigned to another supervisor. As a result, she claimed that she suffered mental or physical disabilities from continuing retaliation and harassment that restricted her personal and professional life.

She was ultimately placed on sick leave until she lost her job. The plaintiff alleged that NBCUniversal wrongfully terminated her employment because of her complaints on sexual harassment and in retaliation for her disabilities and request for accommodation. She also said that the employer misrepresented the grounds for termination as the employer moving her job to a non-remote position although she said that she was not offered the opportunity for an office-based job.

NBC said that it safeguards equal employment opportunities and provides a safe and respectful workplace. It also asserted affirmative defenses, such as business judgment, that the complaint was not timely filed, that the plaintiff did not exhaust other legal remedies and that her own conduct contributed to the injuries she allegedly suffered. It also challenged the constitutionality of the requested damages, described the lawsuit as being frivolous and demanded attorney fees.

An attorney can help victims of sexual harassment at the workplace and wrongful termination assert their rights. They can gather evidence and fight the counter-charges brought by employers.

Source: The Hollywood Reporter, "NBCUniversal faces wrongful-termination suit amid sexual harassment allegations," By Etan Vlessing, Nov. 2, 2017

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