Court reinstates harassment suit

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit has reinstated the sexual-harassment claim of three female employees against KVHP(TV) Lake Charles, La.,
owner National Communications.

The three were charging that former president and general manager Gary Hardesty had
harassed them.

Since Hardesty was no longer with the company, the plaintiffs alleged that he was
acting as a proxy for National and, thus, that company still had
"vicarious liability."

A lower court ruled that Hardesty did not warrant proxy status and National
could not be the target of the suit.

The higher court decided that there remained enough question about his status to
overrule the summary judgment for National, remanding the suit to the lower

But it upheld the lower court’s summary dismissal of retaliation charges
against National, saying the conduct at issue -- including changing locks and
reprimands -- even if true. did not rise to the legal definition of retaliatory

John Eggerton

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.