Donald Trump campaign CEO Stephen Bannon has long been a controversial figure, and a newly revealed lawsuit only figures to give his critics even more ammunition.The New York Post reports that American Vantage Companies was sued back in 2005 by a former employee who alleges that Bannon, her supervisor at the time, fired her while she was on maternity leave. “Julia Panely-Pacetti, a new mother who suffers from multiple sclerosis, was terminated by defendants from her position as head of public relations and corporate marketing because of her sex and her disability,” the lawsuit alleges.Panley-Pacetti, who reported directly to Bannon during her time at American Vantage, alleged that she was fired even though she was “forced to continue performing her job responsibilities from home throughout her maternity leave.
The lawsuit was settled in 2006 for an undisclosed sum, although a Bannon spokesperson claims that the suit never had any merits.“multiple sclerosis. Panely-Pacetti was not fired but laid off with all the personnel in her entire division during a corporate restructuring where the parent company exited its international sales and marketing business, and shutdown its communications department,” the spokesperson told the Post.
The defendant claimed that she was fired while on-leave and protected by the Family Medical Leave Act, and that even while at home she continued to do work for the newly-minted campaign CEO. She was, allegedly, urged to respond to work-related requests more quickly, when she shouldn’t have been working at all.She says in the lawsuit that Bannon spoke “disparagingly” about her pregnancy, and that she was treated with frequent disrespect from Bannon and his associates. Her termination came, the suit says, the day she informed her superiors that she had applied for short-term disability in relation to her multiple sclerosis.
“In a statement, a spokesperson for Bannon said that Panely-Pacetti ‘was not fired but laid off with all the personnel in her entire division during a corporate restructuring where the parent company exited its international sales and marketing business, and shutdown its communications department,’”