Spencer Baumgarten, a former co-head of the motion picture department at ICM Partners Hollywood talent agency, is suing ICM for a multitude of reasons including, wrongful termination, retaliation, discrimination, and harassment. The lawsuit is due to accusations made on behalf of the chief of human resources at the time, Cindy Ballard. Baumgarten was questioned by Ballard who insinuated that Baumgarten defecated on a bathroom floor when he was on a business trip in New York City. The accusation led to defamation of Baumgarten’s name and reputation, and it eventually led to his termination.
Ballard’s accusation that Baumgarten was the perpetrator was based solely on reports that the bathroom floor was found in that condition after he left the bathroom. Baumgarten said in his suit that a few agents from another department were terminated around the same time, thus placing blame on them for the bathroom floor incident. Baumgarten claims “he is a germaphobe and a clean freak and was more than embarrassed by her questioning.” The story went viral within the company, and multiple employees tried to help clear Baumgarten’s name.
In an emailed official complaint to human resources, Baumgarten stated that he felt humiliated and embarrassed. He has also said that he was retaliated against after letting ICM’s lawyer know that he was seeking his own legal counsel. Along with his wrongful termination complaint, Baumgarten’s lawsuit lists a multitude of other offenses, such as defamation, intentional infliction of emotional distress, whistle-blower retaliation, discrimination, and much more. He is seeking a jury trial along with an assortment of damages that go beyond $25,000. Baumgarten is also asking to be reimbursed for his business trip to New York City that costed around $12,000.
If you feel that you have been wrongfully terminated or retaliated against and would like to know your rights in the state of California, please contact the attorneys at the California Employment Legal Group today for a free consultation with an experienced employment lawyer.