Many Hollywood celebrities quickly embraced the #MeToo movement when it first appeared on social media a few years ago. However, it appears that gender discrimination may still be alive and well in Hollywood, just as it is across the country.
Susan Steen worked for Warner Bros. in Los Angeles for 31 years before being fired last December. She recently filed a lawsuit alleging gender discrimination and retaliation by the studio. In her lawsuit, she states that she constantly faced hostility from an “old boys club” of senior male managers.
Some of the other allegations in the lawsuit state that Ms. Steen was told her pay would increase from $350,000 with a 25% bonus target to $420,000 with a 30% bonus target. She claims that the bonus check she received was for $41,000 rather than the $127,000 she was owed.
In addition to issues with her pay, Ms. Steen also says executives blocked her access to the information she needed to perform her job effectively. She also says she was spoken to in a demeaning manner.
When she raised her concerns with human resources, she was accused of violating a nondisclosure agreement. Shortly thereafter, she was fired for allegedly violating the agreement. Steen says that she has been suffering from depression and anxiety over the loss of her career.
Whether you are in glitzy California, humble Delaware, or anywhere in between, gender discrimination is illegal. It’s also illegal to face retaliation for filing a complaint. You should discuss your legal options with a skilled professional if you believe you have been the victim of illegal activity in the workplace.