They're one of the leading news-breaking sites in the world, but a former employee of TMZ claims that while working for the gossip blog's company, she was subjected to a toxic work environment. Bernadette Zilio, a former production assitant and reporter for TooFab, recently filed a federal complaint against TMZ's Harvey Levin and Warner Bros. Entertainment. According to Deadline, she called the company a "boys club" and "100% a bro fest" while comparing the workplace to a "[f]reaking frat house." Prior to filing her complaint, Zilio accused her former employer of giving her the runaround and punishing her for speaking up about how women on staff were being treated.

Harvey Levin, Bernadette Zilio, Complaint, Lawsuit, TMZ
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“Ms. Zilio, along with her female colleagues, was belittled and abused, held to different and more stringent standards, excluded from business and social interactions in which only male employees participated, denied advancement opportunities, and retaliated against when she resisted the sexist and misogynistic ways," the complaint from Bernadette Zilio reportedly reads.

“In addition to the discriminatory work environment, Ms. Zilio’s complaints on behalf of herself and her female colleagues about the unlawful treatment were met with retaliatory discipline and abuse,” the complaints also states. “Incredibly, Ms. Zilio was terminated within a few days of Warner Bros. and EHM’s Human Resources telling Ms. Zilio that it rejected her complaints about the sexist and misogynist treatment, and instead accepted the excuses her male supervisors gave for the differential treatment.”

However, it's reported that Zilio was fired after she was disciplined for multiple instances of "plagiarism and inaccurate reporting," all of which are said to be documented, a spokeperson for TMZ and TooFab told Deadline. Zilio allegedly "acknowledged her errors" at the time and is now accused of making up accusations for a payout.

[via]