A former writer for CNN has filed a $500,000 racial discrimination lawsuit against the network, the second one the network has faced this year.
According to Ricky L. Blalock’s lawsuit, the network “intentionally and willfully violated Mr. Blalock’s right to be free from race-based discrimination in his employment,” says the complaint filed Thursday in federal court.
Blalock was a producer for Fredricka Whitfield and Ashleigh Banfield’s morning legal show. He states that white CNN staffers were offered paid training while he and other African-Americans were not.
“Defendants have discriminated against Mr. Blalock through a discriminatory schematic that allows Caucasians to receive ‘on the job training,’ which is training that occurs during work hours so that Caucasian employees who receive said training are paid while training,” the lawsuit reads. “Just as significant, ‘on the job training’ is the primary way in which employees who lack a particular skill set can actually gain that skill set, in order to qualify for, and actually gain, higher pay and greater prestige (job title).”
Before filing his lawsuit, he had a claim with the Employment Opportunity Commission, and was then passed over for a promotion. The position in question went to a white employee that didn’t meet the job qualifications and “did not have anywhere close to Mr. Blalock’s 20 plus years of relevant experience.”
Blalock stated during an open employee meeting, he asked CNN president Jeff Zucker about the disappearance of black employees. In addition to Blalock, his supervisor, also black, filed a discrimination charge against CNN, but was subsequently pushed out of the company.