Dr. Phil is facing embarrassing allegations that he wrongfully imprisoned 300 employees and shouted them down for leaking information about an upcoming show to the press. The soft-spoken doctor from Texas, also known as Phil McGraw, has been the host of a long-running television series on CBS.
A former employee present for the terrifying encounter has sued Dr. Phil and CBS for wrongful termination, false imprisonment and whistleblower retaliation. The lawsuit was filed in Los Angeles County Superior Court.
According to those present for the alleged epic lambasting from Dr. Phil, 300 employees were herded into a room and locked inside. Employees were told to turn off their mobile phones while security guards watched over the crowd. The lawsuit claims Dr. Phil then went into a tirade, threatening and scaring employees by shouting that he had gone to the feds over the leak.
Did CBS and Dr. Phil Break the Law?
If these allegations are true and Dr. Phil did go crazy on his employees in a locked room, then he and CBS might be in some legal trouble. Here’s why Dr. Phil and CBS might have broken the law.
- The employee who filed the lawsuit went to human resources at CBS and complained about the scary encounter with Dr. Phil. According to the lawsuit, the human resources department at CBS did nothing, and Dr. Phil continued to scare and intimidate staff. The employee claims she felt forced out of her job after filing the complaint. If the employee was harassed after filing her complaint, or forced out of her job for reporting illegal activity, claims of whistleblower retaliation could be accurate.
- If employees were kept from leaving the room by security or locked doors, allegations of false imprisonment might have legal grounds.
Whistleblowers do have protections under California and federal laws. If this employee reported illegal activities to human resources, then whistleblower protections should have kept her safe from further workplace harassment.