Producers of the popular game show The Price is Right have been sued numerous times over the years by models featured on the show. Models often claim discrimination and harassment while working on the show formerly hosted by Bob Barker.
In 2007, comedian Drew Carey began hosting the game show for CBS and the number of models working on the show was reduced from 10 to five. A model who took pregnancy leave during the time of the changeover claiming she was later fired because of her pregnancy.
In California, eligible women employees may take up to four months of pregnancy disability leave without fear of losing their jobs. In addition to other requirements, employers are forbidden from terminating the job of a woman who is on pregnancy leave and must provide some accommodations in certain circumstances.
The model claiming discrimination had to provide evidence that her firing was based on her pregnancy. Statements made by one of the producers about how the model may have been a few pounds overweight were deemed insufficient to prove that her termination from the show was wrongful. The producers also claimed:
- Creative changes to the show lead to her dismissal
- Reducing the number of models necessitated staff reduction
- Models kept on the show were a better fit for Carey's comedic style
Despite laws to the contrary, many employers discriminate against their employees. However, it is up to the employee to prove that his or her termination was based on discrimination.
Source: Hollywood Reporter, "'Price Is Right' Producers Win Pregnancy Bias Lawsuit," Eriq Gardner, 2/22/12