U employees claim harassment

Some two dozen current and former Universal Studios Hollywood employees said they’ve witnessed or suffered sexual harassment at the tourist attraction, the L.A. Times reported yesterday.

Union and company sources the Times didn’t identify said at least 23 employees have been accused of sexual harassment at the theme park since 1990.

Seven employees were fired or suspended, the Times said.

Court records show that two female park employees filed sexual harassment lawsuits against Universal in the last five years.

Universal, an MCA Inc. subsidiary employing 4,000 people, denied there is a pattern of sexual harassment at the theme park.

Ron Bension, an MCA executive who oversees Universal Studios, said that in “each and every case where the company was aware of a complaint, we acted decisively.”

Sid Sheinberg, president and chief operating officer of MCA, said in a letter to Times editor Shelby Coffey III that some allegations of sexual harassment were “patently ludicrous on their face.”

Sheinberg said the company wouldn’t discuss confidential personnel matters and couldn’t respond to allegations that are the subject of litigation.

U spokeswoman Joan Bullard said the company holds management awareness sessions, provides anti-harassment training, and has procedures for reporting harassment.

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