Law Offices of Louis Spitters

Ex-CNN employee files discrimination/wrongful termination claim

After 17 years of service, a former field producer for CNN lost his job for what he believes to be discrimination. The California-based producer -- who is described as a black and Latino American -- covered large-scale events such as the 2012 elections, 9/11 and Hurricane Katrina. The plaintiff was the first black male to earn a producer position in Los Angeles, but he claims that he never received any other type of promotion after that. He believes that his job loss was the result of a wrongful termination.

Over the years, he applied for multiple jobs within the company but was passed over for all of them. Other applicants, who apparently had less experience, were younger or white, were placed into the positions instead. The plaintiff claims that much of his problems started after a new vice president and bureau chief were hired.

According to the plaintiff, the vice president never liked him because of his protected status characteristics. He allegedly complained numerous times about how people were treated and how the supervisor was bullying the workers. Everything came to a head when a piece that was written by the plaintiff was being reviewed by a copy editor. Allegedly, the piece had three sentences that were very close to another story but did not provide any credit to the author. The piece was sent up to the supervisor for review, who then fired the plaintiff.

The former producer filed a claim against CNN for discrimination and wrongful termination because he believed his being fired was too dramatic for the infraction. He is asking the court to award him $5 million in damages for all of the stress and emotional duress under which he was placed. Workers in California who believe that they have lost their jobs because of a protected status characteristic have the right to file a claim against their employer. Based upon evidence of the discrimination, the court may have the worker reinstated into his or her former position and be awarded financial relief.

Source: The Huffington Post, "Former CNN Employee Alleges Race And Age Discrimination In Wrongful Termination Suit", Cavan Sieczkowski, Oct. 7, 2014

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