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OWN sued for pregnancy discrimination by former employee

UPI News Service, 02/02/2013 

A former employee of Oprah Winfrey's OWN network has sued the network for pregnancy discrimination after allegedly being fired for taking medical leave.

Carolyn Hommel filed the lawsuit Friday in Los Angeles Superior Court, also naming her boss, Michael Garner, as a defendant, The Hollywood Reporter said Friday.

Hommel said she was hired in 2010 as senior director of scheduling and acquisitions at OWN, and received a positive performance review. She said she was told she was on track to become a vice president, but was replaced by a temporary employee when she had to take a medical leave during her pregnancy.

Hommel said her duties were gradually given to the temporary employee and she was excluded from meetings when she returned from leave.

Hommel said she was laid off in March 2012, one month after giving birth to her daughter, and was told to re-apply for the vice president job. The suit alleges she was passed over for the job because Garner fabricated her performance review, making "Hommel's job duties and responsibilities appear less 'senior' and therefore not a candidate for the new vice president position."

Hommel alleges she was laid off because she was pregnant and required a medical leave. She is seeking unspecified damages.

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