LOS ANGELES, July 6, 2018 /PRNewswire/ — Kristin Prichard, a former employee of Warner Bros., has filed fourteen claims against the media giant relating to alleged disability harassment and discrimination during her employment there.
In 2007, Prichard was diagnosed with several mental disabilities, including bipolar disorder, major depressive disorder, and an anxiety disorder. Under the care of her psychologist and with the help of psychiatric medicine, Prichard was able to fulfill the responsibilities of her position in an exemplary manner, rising to the position of Vice President of Global Gaming during the last two years of her 13-year tenure at the company.
Nevertheless, in 2009, she informed Warner Bros. of her disabilities, and in 2012 she disclosed her disabilities again, this time to her supervisor, Senior Vice President Michael Gibbs.
The lawsuit alleges that at that point her mental health conditions were intensely exacerbated because of her supervisor’s increasingly hostile, discriminatory, harassing, and retaliatory treatment of her. He would often target and personally attack Prichard, implying that she was unable to execute her job functions. He also made sexually explicit jokes aimed at her, even in front of their colleagues.
This behavior was noticed by colleagues, who adopted the phrase “battered workplace syndrome” to describe Prichard’s state of emotional and mental duress under Gibbs’ supervision. When she complained of his treatment he said, “Well, I’m not going to walk on eggshells.”
In 2013, Prichard complained to Gibbs regarding his behavior toward her. Unfortunately, nothing changed. In 2017, she again complained about Gibbs’ treatment, this time to the human resources department. The following April, she requested a reasonable accommodation and that an investigation be conducted to examine her complaints of discrimination, harassment, and retaliation.
After these measures failed to produce meaningful results, and on the advice of her psychiatrist, Prichard took a medical leave-of-absence in 2017. Two more requests for reasonable accommodation were made, with the support of her psychologist, to help her transition back into her position and to facilitate a monitored working relationship with Gibbs, but both requests were denied.
The lawsuit is pending in the Superior Court of the State of California for the County of Los Angeles, Central District.
Every day, employees are subjected to workplace discrimination, harassment, retaliation, and other forms of abuse. Shegerian & Associates prides itself on representing these workers and helping them find the justice they deserve. Carney Shegerian has been recognized with the 2013 Trial Lawyer of the Year Award and has won 80 jury trials, fighting for workers’ rights.
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