Hollywood Docket: CBS Sports Ex-Employee Sues for Gender and Racial Discrimination

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A woman who worked for CBS for 12 years has sued the broadcaster claiming her career hit a glass ceiling and she was fired for speaking out.

In her lawsuit filed Thursday in New York, Lynda Mauze claims she started working at CBS in 2002 and in 2008 was put in charge of commercials and promotions for CBS Sports.

"Soon after her hire by CBS Sports, Ms. Mauze found her career stagnated in comparison to the routine advancement of her white and male colleagues" because she is African American and a woman, states the complaint.

She claims she negotiated unsuccessfully for a promotion in 2012, only for "every single member" of her department to get promoted two months later, and says she has never received a promotion during her entire tenure with CBS.

Her vice president Scott Davis would regularly make misogynistic comments about his ex-wife and "[gave] male subordinates supervisory and decision-making roles regardless of position or experience while he steered women toward clerical and administrative roles," she claims. "Upon his arrival [at CBS], Mr. Davis and met with each member of the Operations team to review their position. Every member except Ms. Mauze, that is."

But much of her complaint concerns her work with CBS Sports Network (CBSSN), the cable network CBS launched in 2011. Mauze claims she worked for the broadcast arm of CBS, not the cable arm, yet nevertheless ended up helping CBSSN executives set up promotions for golf tournaments, NCAA basketball and NFL games and more.

By 2013, "Ms. Mauze's duties had substantially outgrown the original job description and beyond anything her predecessors performed," states the complaint (read here). She says she went to her supervisors and requested a promotion.

"Instead of awarding Ms. Mauze with a title and compensation commensurate with the work that CBS was apparently expecting her to perform, her supervisors trivialized and even mocked her legitimate complaints and began to treat her with disdain and humiliation," claims Mauze, including one instance in which a Human Resources manager allegedly told her to "take the rest of the day off because she was 'getting too emotional.'"

In November 2013 she filed a discrimination charge with the U.S. Equal Opportunity commission. Davis cited her for insubordination three months later in connection with a mistake in CBSSN commercials, she says. In April 2014, she was in the middle of helping CBSSN format commercials when two men from building security escorted her from her workplace, she claims.

She says she was fired several days later.

Her complaint states 12 causes of action including violations of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Equal Pay Act, and New York City and state labor and human rights laws. She seeks $60 million in damages ($5 million for each cause) in addition to back pay and reinstatement in "a position commensurate with her experience and training." She’s represented by Lisa Alexis Jones.

“This complaint is without merit and we will defend it vigorously," a CBS spokesperson tells The Hollywood Reporter.

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