There has been much ado — and rightly so — over the goings on at Fox News Channel – sexual harassment, hush money allegedly paid to victims, a string of high-profile resignations (some of which were really firings).
Less in the news is a lawsuit by 13 plaintiffs against Fox, alleging racial discrimination (although CNN covers the story here [but the author writes “Jim Crown” where we’re guessing he meant to write “Jim Crow”]).
But even less in the news is a massive lawsuit against CNN. The class-action suit has been growing by leaps and bounds ever since it was first filed in December. Now, some 175 current and former employees have contacted lawyers about joining the case.
Only a few publications followed up on the story at the end of April, when the case exploded.
“The lawsuit against CNN, meanwhile, claims the company’s Atlanta headquarters is rife with racism,” The New York Post wrote on April 27.
Minority employees had to endure bigoted remarks such as “It’s hard to manage black people” and “Who would be worth more: black slaves from times past, or new slaves?,” according to a complaint by former workers Celeslie Henley and Ernest Colbert Jr. filed in Atlanta federal court.
Colbert Jr. also claims he was paid thousands less than white colleagues as a manager at the affiliated Turner Broadcasting System.
Henley, a former CNN executive assistant, says she was fired in 2014 for complaining that black employees were being paid less than white counterparts.
Writes The Hollywood Reporter:
Unlike the lawsuit against Fox News, the one against CNN and sister companies is much broader, claiming among other things that African-Americans receive lower performance ratings in evaluations, that there are dramatic differences in pay between similarly situated employees of different races and that the promotion of African-American employees is blocked by a “glass ceiling.” The complaint (see here) cites hiring and advancement statistics while alleging that African-American employees have endured slurs from superiors, including “It’s hard to manage black people” and “Who would be worth more: black slaves from times past, or new slaves?”
While the Fox News suit has grown by one additional employee, the case against CNN may soon become bigger by many multiples.
That’s because after the defendants moved for dismissal or at least a more definitive statement about specific allegations, also raising the prospect that some of the claims may be barred by statute of limitations or by plaintiffs not exhausting administrative remedies, the plaintiffs’ attorneys told the judge of their wish to file an amended complaint.
According to a plaintiffs’ motion to amend that was filed March 23, “Since the filing of this action, counsels for the plaintiffs have been contacted by more than 175 people, both former and current employees of the Defendant, requesting to be members of the putative class action, all having similar complaints of intentional racial discrimination, discrimination impact and discriminatory practices employed by the Defendants.”
The attorneys also write that many of the potential members recently coming forward are within the administrative process at the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and awaiting their 90-days right-to-sue letter.
The number of people now suing CNN is ten times higher than those suing Fox, writes Ken LaCorte on Mediaite — “yet how many stories have you read about that?”
CNN star Jake Tapper has clearly forgotten about the lawsuit against his own network:
But hey, if it’s not on CNN, it must not be news, right?