Two of Steve Harvey’s companies have been listed as defendants in a recent lawsuit by a former worker. A woman claims she was fired after refusing to engage in sexual encounters with two executives from Steve Harvey Radio Network Inc. and Steve Harvey World Group Inc.
Documents filed by Keegan Law Firm Monday, Sept. 10 say plaintiff Kaliqah Muhammad, who worked as a receptionist/travel coordinator for 10 years, was invited to late night meals with Gerald Washington, who formerly served as president of Steve Harvey World and president of Strategic Partnerships and Content Development for Steve Harvey Radio Network, and Meagan Dotson, a Harvey company secretary.
The complaint says Dotson and Washington began a romantic or sexual relationship in 2016. Muhammad, who was a subordinate to Dotson and Washington, apparently was sent a text message from Dotson that summer requesting “sexy pictures” of herself.
Dotson had texted Muhammad that she was a “very sexy woman” and she and Washington “thought about (her) for a long time.”
Then, in July or August, the plaintiff got a text from Washington saying, “…we thought you might have wanted to hang and needed a break” and “…we wanted to eat and drink till we couldn’t stand up…” and “we are waiting on you in headed to bed then airport.”
Muhammad replied August saying she did not want to engage in sexual activity with the pair and Washington texted her a day later saying, “the way I want to communicate with you is different than before.” Weeks later, the documents state, Muhammad was fired from her position.
The filing goes on to say Marcus Keegan’s and Jerilyn Gardner’s client “was subject to unwelcome harassment on the basis of her sex by being asked to engage in sexual activity with corporate officers to whom she reported.
“Such behavior was so severe and pervasive that it materially altered the conditions of her employment and created a discriminatorily abusive working environment,” it added.
After Muhammad was terminated, the lawsuit, which requests a trial by jury, says she’s suffered such indignities as emotional distress, humiliation and lost compensation. The former employee is seeking damages including back pay and lost benefits, front pay, compensatory damages, punitive damages, attorney’s fees and costs of litigation.
Atlanta Black Star has reached out for comment from Keegan Law Firm and Steve Harvey Radio Network Inc. It has also attempted to contact Steve Harvey World Group Inc. None of the parties have responded as of press time.