RIVIERA BEACH, Fla.-Tire dealers across the country might be able to follow from their living rooms the sex discrimination case between Tire Kingdom and one of its former female employees. The Court TV cable network has been following the case between the Florida dealership and former manager Linda Nelson through its early stages, and might continue coverage through the trial.
The network, however, has yet to determine whether the case will appear in cable households across the U.S., according to a Court TV representative.
The possibility of a nationwide audience during her fight excited Ms. Nelson, who claims Tire Kingdom sexually harrassed her and refused to promote her fairly because she is a woman.
``All the time I asked for help no one helped me,'' she said. ``Now they can see that I was right.''
Ms. Nelson filed suit Sept. 28, 1995, against Tire Kingdom, charging six counts relating to sexual harrassment and discrimination after her employment was terminated last August.
Among her charges, Ms. Nelson claimed Tire Kingdom:
Refused to hire and promote women to managerial positions;
Assigned women to stores far from their homes to effect termination of employment;
Failed to promote her to a store manager position despite the fact that she had ``consistently'' been named top salesperson at her location; and
Allowed a sexually hostile work environment to remain at her store.
Tire Kingdom denied the charges and said it fired Ms. Nelson ``after (she) committed several serious violations of company policies, including deliberately falsifying company documents-including her own time records-and compromising store security.''
But the Florida Department of Labor and Employment Security said Ms. Nelson was eligible for unemployment benefits because she was not fired for misconduct.
In its ruling, the department's appeals referee said ``that the claimant was discharged for reasons other than misconduct connected with work. . . . (T)he referee chooses the claimant's testimony (over Tire Kingdom's witnesses) as more credible in all cases where conflicts occurred.''
The case isn't likely to go to trial until the end of this year or early next year, according to Ms. Nelson's attorney, Stacey Giulianti of Zebersky, Zebersky & Giulianti.
Attorneys from Papy & Weissenborn PA, counsel for Tire Kingdom, did not return phone calls.