Some workplaces in Los Angeles are more laid back than others. But this does not mean that workers can act inappropriately toward their colleagues. All workers in all occupations have important rights, and all employers must make sure that these rights are properly protected.
Last week, an actress who appeared on the hit TV drama The Mentalist, filed a sexual harassment lawsuit against a co-worker and her employer in Los Angeles Superior Court. The lawsuit states that the actress was sexually harassed by another actor on the show on multiple occasions.
The woman filed a complaint with her employer and she had asked that GEP Cencast, Warner Bros. Entertainment and Warner Bros. Television Production address the issue so that the harassment would finally stop. Instead of making sure that her complaint was investigated thoroughly so that appropriate actions could be taken, the actress claims that she was retaliated against and eventually fired from the show.
Prior to filing a complaint with her employer, the actress claims that her casting company had been scheduling her to work five days a week. Shortly after raising concerns about sexual harassment in the workplace, the company began scheduling her to work only two days a week. After a while, the woman was no longer scheduled to work on The Mentalist.
According to the lawsuit, another extra on The Mentalist had made inappropriate comments and had touched her inappropriately on numerous occasions. The lawsuit states that eventually the behavior became "increasingly confrontational and hostile in nature." The woman's complaint lists several incidents when her male co-worker harassed her either by grabbing her buttocks or asking her to have sex with him.
A spokesman for Warner Bros. Entertainment claims that the company handled the woman's complaints appropriately. The company also stated that the woman was never fired from her job on the show. However, the woman's lawsuit claims that despite being a GEP employee since 2001, she has not been asked to work on The Mentalist or any other show since early May.
Source: Courthouse News Service, "Actress says she was groped on 'The Mentalist,'" Matt Reynolds, Aug. 21, 2012