Fired St. Louis Anchor Larry Conners thinks he has a good chance to win his age discrimination suit against KMOV, his old station.
Connors who was fired after posting on his Facebook page, is now using his Facebook page to update people on his legal battle with the station.
"KMOV management wanted to get rid of an older anchor and his salary," he posted.
Conners was terminated in May after writing a controversial post on his Facebook page questioning whether the IRS had targeted him in response to an interview he did with President Obama.
Station officials say they dropped him solely because that commentary violated the journalistic standards of the news organization, but Conners is alleging in court that his employers had been looking for an excuse to get rid of him for quite some time, in part because he alleged age discrimination in a past dispute.
Now, he's arguing that a Facebook policy that the station has cited does not even technically exist. His statement says:
On another front, the [National Labor Relations Board] is expected to rule this month on the union claim that the KMOV Facebook "policy" doesn't exist because the policy was never presented for negotiation; so, if it doesn't exist, how can I be fired for violating such a policy?
Regardless, he emphasizes that, in his view, he was wrongfully terminated, noting that he is moving forward with his Equal Employment Opportunity Commission complaint: "In other words, do you fire a 66 year old news anchor with 38 years in St. Louis for the "facebook policy infraction"? A suspension, a reprimand, anything short of termination were options short of termination ..."
KMOV declined to comment.
Here is Connors full post from his Facebook page:
LEGAL UPDATE REGARDING KMOV
As you might have read or heard this last week, there was a new development on my effort to be free to work in my chosen career in St. Louis.
We had filed for a Temporary Restraining Order to prevent KMOV from enforcing the non-compete clause in my contract.
Our reasoning is that I was terminated, did not leave on my own for another local broadcasting job. Another issue is that I don't have proprietary information, and I'm not an owner of Belo Broadcasting or KMOV.
Wednesday, the judge rejected the request for the TRO. She wants a full hearing on the evidence September 3.
Some are seeing this as a set-back, and while I appreciate your concern, this is just part of the process.
A thirty day delay at this stage doesn't mean that much one way or the other, and we are confident that the judge will accept our reasoning.
For one, generally, Missouri courts are against non-compete clauses except in some of the cases I cited earlier.
For another reason, there are some incidents behind the scenes that can play to our advantage, and for obvious reasons, I can not get into details at this time.
We also moving forward with my claim of "age discrimination" filed with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. That case examines the underlining reason for my termination. In other words, do you fire a 66 year old news anchor with 38 years in St. Louis for the "facebook policy infraction"? A suspension, a reprimand, anything short of termination were options short of termination ... except KMOV management wanted to get rid of an older anchor and his salary.
On another front, the NLRB is expected to rule this month on the union claim that the KMOV Facebook "policy" doesn't exist because the policy was never presented for negotiation; so, if it doesn't exist, how can I be fired for violating such a policy?
By the way, there's an interesting case involving The Chattanooga Times Free Press editorial page editor fired after a headline critical of President Obama. I've attached it for your reading.
There are several other things I was going to post tonight about some events behind the scenes regarding KMOV management and me, but I'm going to hold off those issues ... for now.
In the meantime, thank you for your continued support and prayers.
H/T Riverfront Times