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Media companies grapple with employment discrimination claims, P.1

Nowadays, news organizations are under a good deal of scrutiny over bias and inaccuracy in reporting, but this is not the only issue major news outlets are facing. Workplace discrimination is another issue plaguing some companies, including CNN.

The network has been hit with several allegations of discrimination over the past few years. Most recently, a class action lawsuit was filed against CNN, Turner Broadcasting and Time Warner for alleged racial discrimination against former and current black employees. 

The class action lawsuit comes almost a year after CNN employee DeWayne Walker filed a lawsuit, alleging racial discrimination and retaliation based on his filing a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. The EEOC complaint accused CNN of skipping over Walker for promotions over 13 years in favor of white employees. Similar lawsuits were filed in 2015, 2015 and in October.

The attorney handling the recently filed class-action case has said that discrimination against blacks is a “company-wide pattern and practice” at CNN and that it has been going on for over 20 years. He claims to have gathered evidence over the past three years that black employees at CNN routinely deal with: a higher rate of termination; a slower rate of promotion; discriminatory evaluation and promotion policies and practices; racial slurs and prejudicial comments; and under-representation in higher paying and senior positions.

It will be interesting to see how the class action lawsuit fares, whether CNN will choose to settle the case or take the fight to court, and whether the lawsuit will result in additional individual cases going forward.

CNN isn’t the only media organization dealing with discrimination issues of late. In our next post, we’ll take a look at what is happening with Fox News regarding sexual harassment claims. 

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