Fired Employee Sues CNN for $5 Million

Yesterday, FTVLive told you that CNN had settles a lawsuit brought on by a former employee that liked to wear bright colored mariachi outfits and track suits in the newsroom.

Now, another former CNN staffer is suing the company for $5 million bucks in a wrongful termination suit. 

Deadline reports that Stanley Wilson worked as field producer and writer of news and documentaries, covering stories including 9/11, Hurricane Katrina and elections and contributing to such programs as Black In America and Homicide In Hollenbeck.

In the suit filed in Los Angeles Superior Court, Wilson claims that Peter Janos, who served as his immediate or general supervisor for his entire 17 years at CNN, “never liked Plaintiff and never wanted him at the [Los Angeles] bureau because of Plaintiff’s protected characteristics, including his race, color and ancestry, among other things.”

Wilson was promoted only once during his tenure at CNN, in 2003, despite applying for a dozen job openings. According to the suit, “In 2007, 2008, 2009 and 2010, Plaintiff verbally complained to the CNN Senior Vice-President of Human Resources (HR) that African-American men outside of Atlanta, D.C., and New York were not being promoted. 

Janos, who also is a defendant in the suit along with Turner Broadcasting and Turner Services, was promoted to VP and Bureau Chief in 2013. Wilson’s wife gave birth to twins in September 2013, and Wilson took a five-week paternity leave. Soon before his leave began, Wilson learned that “Janos had promoted a much younger, less-experienced Caucasian individual to the position of producer, replacing a Los Angeles-based senior producer who Janos had promoted,” according to the suit. Wilson claims the new guy got the plum assignments, while the plaintiff “was frequently relegated to in-house packaging and fill-in work on the Assignment Desk.”

Wilson was assigned to cover a story in early January, and the suit claims that there was a question of attribution regarding three sentences. The story was pulled — which according to the suit, “was the pretext Janos needed to terminate Plaintiff’s employment.” On January 9, Wilson was placed on leave and told that “CNN was conducting an audit of the entirely of Plaintiff’s work.” He was terminated January 28.