CNN fired a 16-year employee Dewayne Walker after he filed a series of racial discrimination lawsuits. One such suit had Walker accusing his white co-worker of threatening his life. CNN claimed Walker’s accusations were unfounded, which led to him being let go.
According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, all of the racial discrimination lawsuits Walker filed over the years have been dismissed and his most recent one involved a CNN superior Whit Friese.
Last month, Walker sued Friese for allegedly threatening him in the bathroom, saying “If you f*ck with my money, I’ll kill you.” Friese is CNN vice president of creative marketing while Walker was senior manager for integrated promotions within the creative marketing department. The alleged incident took place in August in response to another racial discrimination lawsuit Walker filed in May.
Walker was placed on administrative leave with pay while CNN investigated the bathroom claims. The news company said they made the move for Walker’s safety, according to a December 6 defense filing in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia. The company also explained that Friese was not Walker’s direct supervisor although their offices “were in close proximity to each other.”
In Walker’s November lawsuit, he requested that he return to his job, explaining that administrative leave was hurting his career and stature.
CNN argued that Walker “did not try to minimize harm. Instead, he spotlighted – forever on the Internet – his unfounded accusation against Friese” by allowing his lawyer to speak to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, which wrote a story about his allegations last week.
A statement attached to CNN’s ruling by their human resources employee Nicole Etheridge reads, “Mr. Friese denied making any threatening comments to Mr. Walker or even speaking to him in well over a year because of false allegations Mr. Walker made against Mr. Friese in his first, subsequently dismissed, lawsuit.”
CNN concluded that there was no evidence to confirm Walker’s allegations, calling them “not credible and had been fabricated.” The company fired him for making a false accusation, according to Etheridge’s statement.
Many of Walker’s lawsuits filed against CNN over the years claim he was not being promoted to higher-level positions because of his race, according to AJC. The Nov. 15 lawsuit says he applied for 31 jobs over the years and wasn’t hired for any of them.
CNN argues, “As part of his barrage of complaints and legal claims, Walker has applied for an astonishing number of jobs both at CNN and at various affiliated corporate entities in an effort to manufacture race discrimination and retaliation claims.”
“It is patently obvious from the types of jobs for which he applied, the minimum qualifications required for the positions, and the fact that he binge-applied for multiple positions on the same day that Walker did not seriously believe he qualified for all or most of those jobs. None of his antics has influenced how CNN treated him. Throughout all the grievances and multiple legal actions, Walker remained employed and in fact received promotions, raises, bonuses and other valuable benefits.”
A hearing originally planned for Wednesday before federal judge Richard Story to consider whether to reinstate Walker back to work was canceled.
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