CNN has been slapped with a lawsuit by a writer/producer for the news outlet, who claims that he has been discriminated against because he is black.
In the suit, filed in federal court in Georgia on Thursday, Ricky L. Blalock says that CNN “intentionally and willfully violated” his “right to be free from race-based discrimination in his employment.”
Among Blalock’s allegations: He was denied paid on-the-job training that was provided to white employees.
“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).”
Blalock also claims that he was passed over for a job weeks after filing a discrimination complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, and that the job was given to a white employee who didn’t meet the job qualifications and “did not have anywhere close to Mr. Blalock’s 20 plus years of relevant experience.”
The suit says that Blalock has been disciplined for alleged infractions, while white employees who allegedly committed the same infractions weren’t disciplined.
CNN declined TheWrap’s request for comment.
The suit says that Blalock, 51, began working in the CNN International newsroom in 2010, and is currently “the only African-American male writer-producer on any programs at CNN produced by CNN World Headquarters.”
According to Blalock, his direct supervisor, “who was the sole African-American executive producer within CNN primary U.S. news locations,” was forced out “in direct retaliation” for filing a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.
Alleging discrimination and retaliation, Blalock is seeking a minimum of $500,000 in damages.
Pamela Chelin contributed to this report.