An employee of the Oprah Winfrey Network is suing the company, claiming that she was subjected to routine sexual harassment and discrimination after becoming pregnant, TMZ reports.
According to the news site, Rebecca Taylor started working at OWN in 2010. She claims her supervisor, Nakisha Gowen, was a director at the network, and after she became pregnant in early 2013, Gowen began harassing her.
Taylor alleges that her supervisor asked far too many invasive questions during her pregnancy. Once she gave birth and returned to work, she would use the company’s pumping room, but one time, Gowen pounded on the door while she was pumping milk and told her to come to a co-worker’s going-away party.
Taylor says Gowen would often engage in unprofessional behavior towards her, which she found embarrassing, including pretending to honk her breasts, and then laying her head on them. Taylor says she was “mortified and humiliated.”
She also claims Gowen would talk to her about “tent pole events,” which she insists was in reference to a man who got an erection “pressing against his clothes and thus making his clothes, such as his pants, look like a tent pole placed against a tent.”
According to the suit, when she complained to human resources, the company did a training but did not investigate her boss, per Variety. Taylor alleges that her boss undermined her at work, and that she became so stressed that she ultimately had to take a year off from her job.
Not only did the female manager pretend to squeeze her pregnant employee’s breasts, Gowen also shamed Taylor for having morning sickness and re-enacted horror film sex scenes in meetings.
The lawsuit claims Gowen’s behavior was part of an attempt to create a “sexually hostile and abusive work environment,” and to “degrade and humiliate the Plaintiff in front of her co-workers.”
(Photo Source: AP)