A judge said Friday he is inclined to dismiss a lawsuit by a staff member at the Oprah Winfrey Network, who alleges her supervisor harassed her after she became pregnant.
No Triable Issues In The Lawsuit
Los Angeles Superior Court Judge David Minning issued a tentative ruling. He said he agreed with OWN’s attorneys that there are no triable issues in Rebecca Taylor’s lawsuit. He did not say when he would issued a final ruling.
OWN was created by Winfrey and launched in January 2011. Taylor began working at the network in 2010. She alleges her boss, Nakisha Gowen, began harassing her when she was three months pregnant in 2013. She alleges it continued after she gave birth to her son in November of that year. Taylor claims the incidents include Gowen’s reenactment of a sex scene from a zombie-type horror movie. It is common knowledge in their workplace that the plaintiff disliked those types of films.
“She Did Not Get As High A Raise As She Wanted”
Defense attorney Priya Sopori countered in her court papers that there is no evidence Taylor suffered severe or pervasive harassment.
“Rather, she enumerates a series of isolated workplace exchanges with her female boss that she now claims offended her, though she let no one … know she was offended until after she did not get as high a raise as she wanted,” Sopori stated in her court papers.
Sopori further argued that there is no substance to Taylor’s claim that she was negatively impacted by the horror movie incident.
Taylor Alleges She Suffered Emotional Stress
“The fact that once in plaintiff’s nearly six years with the company her supervisor parodied a silly sex scene from a horror movie did not alter plaintiff’s employment and did not create a hostile environment,” Sopori wrote in her court papers.
Taylor alleges she suffered emotional stress and had panic attacks. She cried at work and had a hard time sleeping because of her boss’ alleged conduct. She went on leave from the network in July 2015. Apparently to deal with the tension she suffered at the network and did not return to the job until June 2016.