CNN Lawsuit States Ex-Employee Discriminated Against for Race and Passed for Promotions

CNN Lawsuit States Ex-Employee Discriminated Against for Race and Passed for Promotions

A former CNN employee is blowing the whistle on CNN, claiming that he was sought out because of his race but routinely passed over for promotions.

Stanley Wilson, a LA-based producer says he was wrongfully terminated, accusing the company of race and age discrimination. In the suit, Wilson is described as a “51-year-old African- and Latino-American”  who worked for CNN for more than 17 years. For 14 years, he was as a field producer in the LA bureau. Again, according to his lawsuit, Wilson was the first Black man to earn a coveted producer position in LA bureau in 2003. That was, however, the last promotion he’d get. Huffington Post reports:

Although he applied for “a dozen” jobs throughout the next 10 years, he did not get any, according to the court documents. However, younger, less experienced, white employees were allegedly promoted to positions he sought.

Wilson claims Peter Janos, who was promoted to vice president and bureau chief of the Western region in 2004, was to blame. Janos allegedly “demonstrated that he never liked [Wilson] and never wanted him at the bureau because of [Wilson’s] protected characteristics, including his race, color, and ancestry, among other things.” Wilson says he filed multiple complaints about Janos, who he says “ruled the Los Angeles bureau through fear and intimidation,” and the cultural climate at the office.

On Jan. 7, a story Wilson wrote came under scrutiny. Three sentences allegedly resembled the text of another outlet’s story without attribution. The copy editor who reviewed the piece reported it to Janos. An audit of Wilson’s work was conducted, and he was ultimately terminated on Jan. 28.

Wilson alleges the firing was a “grossly disproportionate” response. He claims he was terminated because of his race, age and the prior discrimination complaints he made. He is claiming emotional distress, anxiety and depression and is seeking $5 million in damages.

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