Warner Bros. sued by ex-employee for sex discrimination

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Warner Bros. sued by ex-employee for sex discrimination

Tue Aug 10, 2010 @ 01:06PM PST

By Matthew Belloni

Warner-bros EXCLUSIVE: A fired financial analyst for Warner Bros. has sued the studio for gender discrimination, claiming she was targeted by a vindictive manager and fired after she went on maternity leave. Here's the complaint.

Jennifer Shih, who joined Warners as a senior financial analyst in 2003, says that in 2007 a manager named Ximena Salazar began treating her unfairly, assigning her more work than others and giving her a hard time about taking time off. Shih then got pregnant and allegedly had to start her maternity leave early, which got her written up and, when she returned, she was allegedly targeted with special scrutiny and forced to document her time pumping breast milk.

She says she was fired six months later. Warners "claimed that she was fired for poor performance, although [the studio] knew that this was not true," the lawsuit alleges.  

A rep for Warner Bros. said the studio has no comment on the 11-count lawsuit, filed in Los Angeles Superior Court by attorney Carney Shegerian.

In addition to claims for sex discrimination, Shih also includes a cause of action for "blacklisting." She says Warners brass told Paramount and Lionsgate that she is an "incompetent and incapable employee," which has impacted her financially. 

Shih's husband Daniel McLaughlin is also suing for severe emotional distress, including "loss of support, services, love, companionship, society, affection and solace."

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The Hollywood Reporter, Esq. blog focuses on how the entertainment and media industries are impacted and influenced by the law. It is edited by Matthew Belloni with contributions from veteran legal reporter Eriq Gardner and others. Before joining The Hollywood Reporter, Belloni was a lawyer at an entertainment litigation firm in Los Angeles. He writes a column for THR devoted to entertainment law. Gardner is a New York-based writer and legal journalist. Send tips or comments to [email protected]

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