Sexual harassment lawsuit filed against WLNS
According to a lawsuit, former Assignment Editor Cheryl Fritze is suing Nexstar and their Lansing station, WLNS for sexual harassment.
Fritze claims that sexual harassment took place a number of times in her workplace and that she did report it to managers at Nexstar, even the CEO.
She also claims that after she reported the incidents of harassment that she was fired. She still wants to work for WLNS and would like her employment reinstated.
As an assignment editor, she worked closely with on-air personnel, station interns, and management. The lawsuit claims that the "severity of sexually inappropriate misconduct of male employees" impeded her work and hurt her relationship with management.
Specific allegations were brought up in the lawsuit against male anchor, Evan Pinsonnault. Fritze states that Pinsonnault harassed women at the station, including interns. One intern claims that he took her out to lunch and asked to go back to her apartment.
He was eventually released from his job after months of complaints against him.
Fritze still felt harassed at the station, even after Pinsonnault’s departure.
She claims she was experiencing inappropriate behavior from management. And one time she felt degraded with behaviors surrounding the reporting on the “Fifty Shades Of Grey” book series.
Another time involves a female intern experiencing sexual harassment from Fritze’s supervisor, Jam Sardar.
In time, corporate management sent representatives to the station to “check the climate” at WLNS.
According to the lawsuit, they talked to just a few employees and concluded that the station did not have any sexual harassment problem.
Fritze is suing for wrongful discharge. She seeks in excess of $25,000 for what the harm, actions, and allegations have done to her professional and personal life.
She filed the lawsuit on Aug. 9.
News 10 did speak with Cheryl Fritze. She said that should could not comment on pending litigation. "This has been a painful process," she said. "I look forward to a resolution."
News 10's Clayton Cummins has also reached out to WLNS for comment but has not heard anything back.
Stay with News 10 as we continue to track and update this story for you.