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Price is Right model gets new trial after appeal

People in California may be interested in the ongoing litigation between a former "Price is Right" model and the show. The woman, who worked on the show as a model from 2002 until 2009, claims she was fired in 2009 upon informing the show she was pregnant with twins. She had previously been awarded a jury verdict of $8.5 million in the case, but a district court judge set aside the award. Upon taking her case upon appeal, the appellate court ruled that she will have a second trial.

The model alleged that she was harassed by Fremantle Media after informing them of her pregnancy and then fired after she took medical leave due to her pregnancy and a difficult birth. Prior to being fired, she claimed her hours were reduced and her schedule altered after she told producers about her pregnancy. After she had completed her medical leave and notified the company, they reportedly refused to place her on the schedule.

In her first trial, the jury found that her pregnancy motivated the show to fire her. She was awarded $8.5 million on her wrongful termination claim for both compensatory and punitive damages. Fremantle filed a motion for a new trial, which the court granted. Its request for the judge to rule in the company's favor despite the jury's verdict was denied, however.

Under the civil rights law, employers are forbidden from discriminating against protected classes. Among the protected classes are people who are discriminated against due to pregnancy. When a person is fired due to their pregnancy status or due to the pregnancy status of their partner, she or he may file a wrongful termination lawsuit against their employer. People who believe they have been wrongfully terminated may wish to consult with an employment law attorney for help.

Source: Courthouse News Service, "Fired 'Price is Right' Model, Fremantle Get New Trial", Karina Brown, December 17, 2014

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