A California judge says a case against “The Price Is Right” should go to trial. A former model for the game show is suing the show’s producers and production company for sexual harassment and wrongful constructive discharge. The trial judge has denied the defendants’ motion to dismiss and has scheduled a trial to begin May 21, 2013.
The plaintiff began appearing on the game show in 2003. She claims the alleged harassment started in December of 2009. At that time, she says one of the show’s producers stopped talking to her and began bestowing preferential treatment on another model with whom he was involved in a romantic relationship. She further claims that in September of 2010, a second producer burst into her dressing room while she was wearing only a pair of thong underwear and proceeded to reprimand her. She says the conduct made the work environment so intolerable that she was forced to resign.
In their motion to dismiss, the defendants argued the dressing room incident was not unlawful sexual harassment because it lasted for only two minutes, during which the producer never blocked the plaintiff from leaving or made any comments about her body. The judge rejected the defendants’ argument, indicating that it would be up to the jury to determine if sexual harassment occurred.
Sexual harassment is unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature that creates a hostile work environment. Sexual harassment is considered unlawful sex discrimination under the law. If an employee is forced to resign because of harassment, the employee may have a claim for unlawful constructive discharge. If an employee experiences harassing conduct that is impacting the work environment, a knowledgeable employment law attorney may be able to help evaluate the facts to determine if the employee has a viable claim.
Source: San Marino Tribune, “Pasadena “Price is Right” Model Goes to Trial,” April 4, 2013