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Former MTV executive alleges sex discrimination

A former vice president at MTV is suing the network and its parent company, Viacom, alleging that she was treated differently than other employees based on her age and gender. According to the complaint filed in federal court recently other executives at MTV treated the woman differently, including punishing her for inappropriate behavior while ignoring the conduct of others.

The problems apparently began when she began reporting to a new senior vice president within the department. From that point forward, she says that her new boss diminished her role within the department and excluded her from meetings and special events.

A conflict with another female employee caused the situation to come to a head. According to the lawsuit filing, the other employee had a history of inappropriate conduct and relationships with senior executives. After she was promoted to a supervisory position the conduct continued, including sending emails with very personal content and giving gifts. The plaintiff in this lawsuit was later named in a human resources complaint made by the other employee, who said that she was afraid of the plaintiff and that there was a pattern of inappropriate behavior. It is not clear what exactly she alleged in the complaint, but shortly after that the plaintiff was fired from MTV.

In addition, the plaintiff says that insults and sexist comments were pervasive at MTV and that the company failed to punish some male employees, including her former boss who insulted her based on her gender.

As the issues and allegations in this lawsuit make clear, sex discrimination and harassment are still a major problem for women at all levels of the corporate ladder. This type of conduct is prohibited under federal employment laws and corporations who perpetuate discriminatory conduct or fail to stop it should be held accountable.

Our firm handles a variety of discrimination and harassment cases, including those brought on the basis of sex or gender. More information is available on our Pittsburgh employment law website.

Source: The Hollywood Reporter, "Former MTV VP of Talent Sues Claiming Sex Discrimination," Eriq Gardner, Aug. 23. 2012

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