A former Dr. Phil employee is suing Dr. Phil McGraw for allegedly holding 300 employees in a room staffed by security guards as he made accusations that one of them had leaked information to the media.
Leah Rothman’s lawsuit against McGraw, his production company and CBS claims she was forced quit the show in April 2015 due to a hostile work environment. She had worked on the show since 2003.
In court documents obtained by PEOPLE, Rothman alleges that on March 11, 2015, she was called into work on her day off, where she and approximately 300 Dr. Phil employees were gathered into a room staffed with several security guards. McGraw allegedly entered the room, told the guards to lock the doors and ordered the employees to turn over their phones.
McGraw then allegedly said one of his employees had leaked information to the media and that he had turned over the case to federal authorities.
“If you f— with me, I’ll f— with you,” he allegedly said, according to the lawsuit.
The lawsuit further claims that McGraw read from cue cards during the meeting – which Rothman says indicates he had planned it for some time. The alleges claims McGraw took pleasure in scaring his employees and that Rothman later learned he already knew who had leaked the information to the press, and that the meeting was designed to frighten his workers.
On March 18, 2015, Rothman says she met with a human resources executive at CBS to complain about the meeting. The human resources exec allegedly said he sympathized with Rothman, but a followup meeting she attempted to set up never materialized, with Rothman claiming she was ignored by the exec.
Rothman says in the suit the situation caused her so much emotional stress that she was forced to quit her job several weeks after the incident occurred.
Rothman, who worked as a segment director, is suing for false imprisonment, emotional distress, whistle blower retaliation and wrongful constructive termination.
A spokesperson for Dr. Phil declined comment.