Taylor Swift may learn the hard way that interfering with another person’s livelihood can be costly. The music recording star has been sued in Colorado for allegedly causing a disc jockey to be fired. The suit, pending in the U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado, alleges that Swift made an unfounded allegation of impropriety against David Mueller and then demanded that his employer fire him.
Swift’s allegation against Mueller came after he and his girlfriend had posed for a photograph with Swift during a back stage meet and greet prior to Swift’s scheduled performance in Denver. The performer claimed that, while posing for the picture, Mueller lifted her skirt and grabbed her bottom. Members of Ms. Swift’s management staff allegedly contacted management of the radio station that employed Mueller and demanded that something be done. The station subsequently fired Mueller.
According to the suit, Mueller was at the back stage event as a requirement of his employment with the radio station. The photo that was taken showed a smiling Swift whose skirt appeared undisturbed. Swift did not indicate any annoyance with the encounter with Mueller and his companion, and it was only well after he departed the back stage area that he was approached by security personnel, accused of the misconduct, and escorted from the venue.
Also according to the suit, after the photo opportunity, Mr. Mueller was approached by his station’s program manager who recounted to him that Ms. Swift had given him a hug backstage, at which time he placed his hand on her bottom.
Mueller states that he has worked in the radio industry for over 20 years and intermingled with numerous celebrity performers without ever being accused of inappropriate behavior. He points out that it would be unlikely that he would act in the alleged fashion while in the presence of his girlfriend, while being photographed, and surrounded by Ms. Swift’s security personnel.
His suit says that he was hired under a contract for up to three years with a base salary of $150,000 per year with additional compensation through bonuses, endorsements, and public appearances. He was only six months into the contract term when the alleged incident occurred.
Employees frequently work under terms that guarantee a period of employment, such as the contract under which Mr. Mueller was hired. If another person wrongfully interferes with an employee’s right to continued employment and compensation, she can be liable for the damages. Whether or not that happened in this case may never be known, but it highlights the rights that many employees have to keep their jobs and that they can fight back against interference with their rights. Contact us today to speak with an experienced sexual harassment attorney in Modesto. In Arizona, you can contact Denton Peterson for help with any employment law related issues.
Sacramento, CA 95821