Price is Right Model Gets $8.5 Million Award for Pregnancy Discrimination

"The Price is Right" has been hit with an $8.5 million jury verdict for pregnancy discrimination against former "Barker Beauty" model Brandi Cochran.  The 41 year old former Price is Right model says that she was not allowed to return to work after her maternity leave in violation of California law.

The Los Angeles jury determined the former model's pregnancy was the reason she wasn't rehired and awarded Cochran $776,944 in regular damages and $7.7 million in punitive damages.  In their defense, producers FremantleMedia North America and The Price is Right Productions said they were satisfied with the five models working on the show at the time Cochran sought to return.

"I'm humbled. I'm shocked," Cochran said after the jury announced its verdict. "I'm happy that justice was served today not only for women in the entertainment industry, but women in the workplace."

The producers will appeal the verdict stating: "We believe the verdict in this case was the result of a flawed process in which the court, among other things, refused to allow the jury to hear and consider that 40 percent of our models have been pregnant," and further "important" evidence.
This was not the first employment lawsuit by a "Barker Beauty" against the show's producers.
What do you think of this huge verdict for failing to bring back an employee who went on pregnancy leave?
Please post your thoughts on ShiraziLawFirm.com/blog

 

Magic Johnson Sued for Wrongful Termination and Age Discrimination in Los Angeles

Magic Johnson's former flight attendant has sued his company for wrongful termination in Los Angeles Superior Court.  The former employee on Magic Johnson's private plane, Lanita Thomas, is suing for age discrimination and various California Labor Code violations.  Ms. Thomas, 45, alleges that Magic replaced her with a much younger flight attendant because he prefers younger women in violation of the law. Ms. Thomas claims that the "pretext" for her termination by Magic was that she was seven minutes late while trying to get Magic the very specific kind of turkey he likes in his sandwiches.  Ms. Thomas-who worked for Magic since 2004-alleges that Magic hired the much younger flight attendant that temporarily substituted in for her during her prior medical leave of absence.

In addition to the age discrimination claim, Ms. Thomas is suing for California Labor Code violations, including non-payment of overtime and missed meal and rest periods.  Ms. Thomas alleges that she spent about a third of her time stocking Magic's private plane with “highly specific in-flight food and beverage choices,” including liquorice, which she was required to “regularly squeeze to make sure they were soft.”  Ms. Thomas alleges that because she was the only flight attendant and had to spend so much time on the above-mentioned tasks, that she was never allowed to take full meal or rest breaks.

What do you think of the age discrimination claim against Magic?

 

 

Desperate Housewife Nicollette Sheridan Loses Again on Her Wrongful Termination Claim

 

Update from a prior post--Court of Appeal decision:  Former Desparate Housewife co-star Nicollette Sheridan sued her production company for wrongful termination in 2010.  Sheridan alleged she was terminated (her character killed off the show) in retaliation for complaining about the show creator striking her.  The Los Angeles jury deadlocked and could not make a decision of whether she was retaliated against or her character was killed off for creative reasons.

After the jury trial, Defendant Touchstone Pictures appealed the trial court's denial of their request for a directed verdict.  Touchstone's request for a directed verdict was based on there being no termination because Sheridan's contract was simply not renewed.   The California Court of Appeal agreed with Touchstone and held:

"We conclude that the trial court erred in denying Touchstone’s motion for a directed verdict."  "A cause of action for wrongful termination in violation of public policy does not lie if an employer decides simply not to exercise an option to renew a contract." ...“We conclude also that Sheridan should be permitted to file an amended complaint alleging a cause of action under Labor Code section 6310 that Touchstone retaliated against her for complaining about unsafe working conditions (e.g., Cherry’s conduct) by deciding not to exercise its option to renew her contract."

What do you think of the court's ruling that not having your contract renewed is not a termination?

Comment below or at www.ShiraziLawFirm.com/blog