Wednesday, May 11, 2022

Paramount Wraps Up Latinx Ex-Nickelodeon Exec's Race Bias Suit

ViacomCBS has been accused in a federal racial discrimination lawsuit of stereotyping a former employee as a “dumb Latina” and denying her career advancement, TheWrap is reporting.

Update (5/11) - Paramount Global/ViacomCBS has reached a deal to resolve a New York federal lawsuit from a former Nickelodeon employee who said she was pigeonholed as a "dumb Latina," made to do menial housekeeping. The full story can be read on Law360 (paid subscription required).

The employee, Patricia Senior, worked in the consumer products division from 2016 until 2020. She began as a director in consumer products planning for Nickelodeon. In the lawsuit, Senior says she faced rampant discrimination including that her bosses initially didn’t think she could speak fluent English. She further claims that she was fired for complaining about being discriminated against.

“At ViacomCBS, however, Senior was stereotyped as a ‘dumb Latina,’ prohibited from writing emails to her boss; consigned to doing clerical work and housekeeping, notwithstanding her having a Master of Business Administration from Columbia University; denied repeated requests for more challenging assignments; blocked from well-deserved professional advancement; subjected to unjust criticism; and, when she complained about the unrelenting discrimination, fired in retaliation,” the lawsuit says.

Senior said that on her first day, a vice president she reported to, Richard Morris, “had her sit beside him while he dictated emails for her to send to SVP [Andrea] Fasulo and other executives.” The lawsuit continued that after a month she was not allowed to email Fasulo directly over what was described as “minor grammatical mistakes.”

“Other Consumer Products Marketing team members who sent emails with spelling and grammatical errors were not punished in the same way, if at all,” the lawsuit continued.

Senior adds in the lawsuit that she, along with many other Latinx employees at ViacomCBS, were denied “well-deserved promotions, passed over for professional opportunities, and made to do unskilled housework and menial work beneath their respective job titles.”

ViacomCBS did not immediately respond to TheWrap’s request for comment.

Originally published: December 15, 2021.

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