NBCUniversal Faces Employment Lawsuit Amid Allegations of Sexual Harassment
A former female employee at NBCUniversal has filed a wrongful termination lawsuit against the company alleging that she was fired in retaliation for complaining about a supervisor’s inappropriate behavior and sexual comments to her, which created a hostile work environment. According to the Hollywood Reporter, Gina De Marco’s wrongful termination lawsuit claims NBCUniversal failed to properly respond to the sexual harassment she faced and that she was subjected to retaliation because she complained about the unlawful harassment.
Hostile Work Environment
According to the complaint, De Marco was a senior digital fulfillment specialist at NBCUniversal between 2016 and August 2017 and she worked from home owing to “work restrictions.” De Marco alleges that starting in November 2016, her supervisor created an unprofessional and hostile work environment. His alleged misconduct, according to the lawsuit, included referring to his genitalia as a “light saber” and telling De Marco about his masturbation practices and those of other male employees.
When De Marco asked about an LGBTQ event, her supervisor responded that he didn’t take part in “those gay things.” When she informed her supervisor about a female employee who was hospitalized due to domestic abuse, he responded that she should’ve learned to keep her mouth shut and “limped into the office.” De Marco said she attempted to take these up with human resources, but that the harassment continued and that she suffered physical and mental disabilities because of the harassment and retaliation. De Marco was put on paid sick leave until she lost her job. NBCUniversal has said it will fight these allegations.
A Watershed Moment
This has been hailed as a “watershed moment” for sexual harassment cases, particularly after numerous women and men have come forward and spoken about harassment or assault in the hands of movie producer Harvey Weinstein and other Hollywood and media personalities. The unprecedented #MeToo campaign on social media saw millions of women around the world come forward with their personal stories of experiencing sexual harassment or being sexually assaulted, demonstrating how common it was for women to have these types of experiences.
Whether sexual harassment occurs in the workplace or anywhere else, it must be called out and the perpetrators must be punished and/or held accountable. The culture of accepting this type of behavior should end now. As California employment lawyers, we will join the fight to protect the rights of employees, women and men, who are simply out there following their dreams and trying to earn a livelihood.