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Lawsuit: Legoland Accused of Gender Discrimination

— May 14, 2020

Legoland recently came under fire in a lawsuit accusing it of gender discrimination.

The former head of public relations for Legoland in Florida recently filed a lawsuit against the company after spending much of his time last year “generating publicity for the park’s expansion last year.According to the former employee, Shawn Mikus, “he was discriminated against working as the only man in an all-female department.”

Legos; image courtesy of Semevent via pixabay,

The suit was filed in Polk Circuit Court for more than $30,000. In the suit, Mikus alleges he was “yelled at and humiliated regularly during his eight-month tenure at the Winter Haven attraction before he says he was wrongfully fired.” He was hired back in 2018, many months after the “park debuted new rides in Lego Movie World.” The lawsuit further states:

“After two weeks in his position, [Mikus] implemented a multi-phased plan to launch and sustain media exposure of [Legoland’s] largest park investment and biggest addition in park history.”

It further alleged that Gillian Smith, the marketing and sales vice president for Legoland “denigrated his work immediately, using belittling and harassing words.” Mikus also regularly faced criticism whenever “he explained media trends.” However, whenever a “female colleague presented similar information, her response was it was vital industry information.”

Mikus added that he was also “regularly humiliated and told there were problems with his work without getting any feedback on how to fix it,” and noted he was the “only full-time male employee in his 18-person department.” Fed up with the treatment, Mikus complained to his human resources department in June 2019. Soon after, on July 19, he was fired “without ever receiving a warning or formal discipline.”

When commenting on the matter, Thomas Disckens III of Morgan & Morgan, Mikus’ attorney, commented that Mikus is good at what he does. He noted that since he was terminated, Mikus has “moved back to Chicago and began working as a communication manager for Hilton hotels in December.” Dickens added that his Mikus’ abrupt termination from Legoland was hard for him to get through. Dickens said:

“When anybody is subjected to a firing, it creates a pretty emotional situation. This is your sense of identity. When you wake up in the morning, it’s not, ‘Who am I going to talk to today? What stories am I going to tell?’ You don’t have that.”

When responding to the allegations, a spokeswoman for Legoland said the company laid off a handful of employees in October 2019 and noted it was in the process of “restructuring its line of reports, affecting 1% of the company’s total employees in order for continued growth and financial success.”


Ex-Legoland public relations director sues, claiming discrimination as the only man in an otherwise all-female office

Legoland Florida lays off ‘small number’ of employees, spokeswoman says

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