A former Milwaukee TV weatherman says he was subjected to anti-Semitic harassment and discrimination at WTMJ-TV before being wrongfully terminated in 2017. Scott Steele and two other former WTMJ employees have filed a religious discrimination and retaliation lawsuit against the station.
The lawsuit says Scripps Media Inc. – the owner of the Milwaukee station – waged “a campaign of retaliation against Steele for speaking up to protest the anti-Semitic discrimination workplace hostility he was suffering.”
The company is accused of manufacturing “false workplace ‘incidents’ against” him, then disciplining him based on the fabricated incidents and then wrongfully terminating him at the end of summer 2017.
In his lawsuit, he says someone twice put a Christian cross on his desk. He also says he spoke up about anti-Semitism at a May 2017 staff meeting and that he filed a complaint with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission last year.
In April of this year, the EEOC’s District Director wrote that there is “reasonable cause” to believe that Scripps “harassed, disciplined and forced (Steele) to resign his employment due to his opposition to discriminatory practices.”
Steele says it was a struggle for “Jewish employees to take time off for Jewish holidays” and that he once found a yarmulke on his desk.
He also claims in his lawsuit that after he once asked for time off for a holiday, he was demoted from a prominent position to a lesser role at the station. He was told “we need to appeal to more than just a few people” – a comment Steele assumed referred to his religion.
He also says a 2017 contract offer included lower pay and a reduced on-air role.
If you have suffered workplace discrimination based on religion, gender, disability,