NBC Universal's owner and several executives have been hit with a lawsuit, filed by a former post-production employee on "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit". Expert colorist Charlotte Grau filed the suit against the TV network in Los Angeles Superior Court on Friday, March 15, claiming that she received physical and mental abuse from her male colleagues.
In the lawsuit filed by L.A. attorney Lisa Maki, Grau was said to have been routinely mistreated by NBCU employees, paid less in overtime than male colleagues, told that her work was inferior and physically assaulted by a male superior. She demanded at least $5 million in damages on claims of sex discrimination, battery, assault, defamation and gender violence.
"[NBC] Universal was intentionally failing to prevent or remedy the sexual harassment of female employees by male employees," the lawsuit stated. Grau, who "was routinely treated differently and less favorably than her male counterparts at Universal," already complained several times, but they were all ignored.
Grau alleged that her superior, executive producer Forney, did a physical abuse by hitting her forcefully in the back after giving her a hug. In 2011, Grau was removed from the production team without explanation after taking three-month leave for breast cancer treatment. As stated in the suit, she overheard two Universal employees complaining that she "never finishes her work, and when she does it takes her longer than 'the boys'."
When reassigned to NBC's "Grimm", she claimed that the production staff made it difficult to do her job by blaming her for technical difficulties. In May 2012, she was fired because there was no work for her. "In reality, Universal terminated [Grau] in retaliation for [her] reports of verbal abuse, harassment, disparate treatment, and the exercise of [her] protected rights, including the right to take medical leave for her own serious health condition, among other things," the complaint said.
The suit alleged a whopping 18 causes of action. NBC Universal declined to comment on this issue.