The National Law Journal
August 06, 2010
The macho man image is dead in some workplaces. So say employment attorneys, whose reaction to the recent Jimmy Fallon sex discrimination scandal — in which a stage manager claims that he was fired by the comedian and replaced by a less qualified woman — was essentially, "no surprise." In a complaint filed July 23 with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, NBC stagehand Paul Tarascio claims that he lost his job because Fallon "just prefers to take direction from a woman." "You don't have many people claiming that there's an employer that discriminates against men, quite frankly. But when you hear it in context, and you read his complaint, you see why he believes there's good reason to file a complaint," said Tarascio's lawyer, Dominick Bratti of Woodbridge, N.J.'s Wilentz Goldman & Spitzer. Bratti, who mostly defends employers in workplace disputes, said he felt compelled to represent Tarascio after hearing his story — that he lost his job "out of some sort of preference." "I felt for the guy. I saw him as someone who needed someone to stick up for him," Bratti said. As of Aug. 2, NBC officials said they had not yet seen the complaint. As for the claims being made, the company said, "Any claim of sexual discrimination is without merit." The Fallon case, employment lawyers say, is a sign of the times: Men are getting more and more comfortable about complaining that they've been mistreated at work because of their sex.
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