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Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Former Animal Safety Rep Sues HBO for Wrongful Termination

A former employee of the American Humane Association has filed a wrongful termination lawsuit against the said organization and HBO when she was allegedly terminated after reporting a violation of animal abuse and cruelty law.  

As a former employee of the said organization, supervising humane officers and animal safety representatives on film and television is a part of Barbara Casey’s job. Incidentally, during her employment, she had observed the ongoing abuse and cruelty to horses that are being used in the making of HBO’s hit series, ‘Luck’.

In her lawsuit filed before the office of the Los Angeles Superior Court, Casey claimed that she was terminated after reporting the widespread systematic and unlawful animal abuse and cruelty towards animals used in the series’ filming.

Casey alleged in her lawsuit that she had already repeatedly reported about the horses being abused, neglected, and mistreated on the set. However, instead of correcting the misconduct, Casey was unfortunately terminated from her job in retaliation for her efforts in reporting the said wrongdoing.

Following the said revelation, HBO started to face scrutiny from major advocacy groups such as the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA).

On the other hand, although HBO admitted that horses had been injured and euthanized during the filming of its high profile drama about gambling and horse-racing, it stressed that the cable television network had maintained the highest safety standards possible on its TV program. Also, it had instituted safety protocols that go above and beyond typical film and TV industry standards and practices, HBO added. 

Moreover, in a statement released by HBO, it once again reiterated that it took every precaution to ensure that the horses being used in the filming were treated humanely and with utmost care, exceeding every safeguard of all protocols and necessary guidelines of the production. Furthermore, it also affirmed that the complainant was never an employee of HBO and that the company actually referred questions about her to the American Humane Association where Casey was employed.

Meanwhile, the American Humane Association declined to comment on the matter, according to news reports.

Unfortunately, in a labor intensive society like ours, an employee is usually at the shorter end of the stick. Despite the important role that employees play in a company’s production, the benefits that are afforded them still do not correspond with the service that they provide. The sad part is that employees are often the victim of wrongful termination, commented by a Los Angeles wrongful termination lawyer.

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