An ex-stage manager is suing late night talk show host Jimmy Fallon for New York sexual discrimination and retaliation. Paul Tarascio served as a stage manager for Conan O’Brien for nearly 14 years before moving onto Fallon’s show, which premiered in March 2009. Tarascio quickly got demoted to second stage manager – replaced by a woman whom he considered an inferior worker. Tarascio has alleged that the TV host preferred to take his stage directions from a female and that show executives falsely chalked up Tarascio’s demotion to “performance issues,” when the real problem was gender discrimination – and retaliation against him for complaining about the discrimination.
Tarascio filed suit with both the New York Division of Human Rights and the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). Thus far, Fallon’s camp has remained mum. An NBC spokesperson said: “we’ve yet to see any of the charges… any claim of sexual discrimination is without merit.”
In the lawsuit, Tarascio alleges that other crew members on Fallon’s show suffered gender discrimination as well. In particular, crew members assigned to clip microphones on to the host were all initially women, until it became clear that the female employees could not perform this task. Afterwards, Fallon allegedly begrudgingly let male technicians put the microphones on him.
This case of New York City gender discrimination illustrates how common allegations of unfair work treatment are. If you or a family member or co-worker has been victimized by what you perceive to be gender discrimination, sexual harassment, racial discrimination, or any other kind of unfair treatment, talk to the experienced lawyers here at Joseph & Kirschenbaum at (212) 688-5640, or send the team an email via www.jhllp.com.