A Black employee is again suing CNN, alleging he was threatened by his boss after he filed a race discrimination lawsuit against the company.
DeWayne Walker, who worked as the manager of integrated marketing for CNN, said his boss, Whit Friese, vice president, and group creative director, threatened him in the restroom this past August. Last month, Walker filed a new lawsuit as a result of the alleged encounter, according to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
In this latest suit, Walker said Friese told him to “just drop it” referring to the earlier lawsuit, which was filed in May.
Walker said he responded: “Or?”
This is when he says Friese approached him at a urinal and whispered to him: “If you f–k with my money, I will kill you,” according to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
Walker said he informed human resources of the incident five days later. As a result, he was given administrative leave with pay the next day.
Now Walker has filed the new suit and is questioning why Friese was never punished for the alleged threat against him.
“It’s a travesty and a sham,” said Walker’s attorney Mario Williams told the newspaper. “You’re using an administrative process to punish a person who made the complaint. The next best thing to firing someone is keeping him out of the office on administrative leave with pay even though he’s the victim.”
Walker, who has worked for the Atlanta-based company for 16 years, has now been on leave with pay for more than three months.
CNN did not respond to The Atlanta Journal Constitution’s requests for an interview.
On Dec. 11, a court hearing is set and Williams will ask a judge to reinstate Walker to his job.
Back in 2014, Walker filed a complaint against CNN alleging he was skipped over for promotions because he’s Black. He went to file a federal racial discrimination lawsuit in 2015. That lawsuit was dismissed, with a federal judge ruling that he wasn’t qualified for seven of the nine positions he put in for. The eighth position, Walker reportedly never applied to and the judge ruled there was no evidence of discrimination for the 9th position.
This past May, Walker hired Williams, who filed another racial discrimination suit that alleges that out of the 28 positions that Walker has applied for during his stint at CNN, he has never been contacted for a vast majority of his applications. He alleges pervasive discriminatory practices at the company.
In 2016, a separate class-action lawsuit was filed against CNN also alleging pervasive discrimination. That too was thrown out by a judge.