Black News Channel is accused of gender discrimination by 13 women in new lawsuit

·2 min read
BNC group shot
BNC group shotBNC media kit
  • Thirteen women have filed a class-action lawsuit against Black News Channel, court documents show.

  • The plaintiffs claimed in the suit that the BNC workplace discriminates against women.

  • The women have said they struggled with unequal pay and being berated, according to the suit.

Thirteen women are accusing Black News Channel of gender discrimination in a lawsuit filed Tuesday, new court documents show.

The goal of the suit is to shift the culture of the BNC workplace to be more inclusive and just towards its women employees, according to a tweet by Sheryl Ring, an attorney representing the 13 plaintiffs.

"Women at Black News Channel are routinely paid less than men in equivalent positions, and forced to conform to sexist or misogynistic stereotypes about how women are supposed to behave," the class action complaint claimed. "This action seeks to vindicate the rights of the women employees at Black News Channel."

Ashley Flete, one of the women who filed the original complaint in August, alleged in the suit that a producer would "berate" her and call her "insufficiently feminine" as she was on-air. According to the lawsuit, Flete claimed she was fired because she reported the issue to Human Resources and that she was underpaid during her time as a reporter.

Former talent producer Claudia Jean, who filed the lawsuit with Flete, also alleged that she was also referred to by staff as "insufficiently feminine" and "aggressive." Jean was also let go of her position, according to court documents.

Maria Roach, Felicia Burton, Lauren Coleman, Kyra Branch, Kisha Wilkinson, and six women who were not named were also listed as plaintiffs in the class action lawsuit.

Black News Channel claims to be the sole multi-platform news outlet that caters to a Black audience full time.

The hearing in the Circuit Court of Cook County in Illinois will occur on January 10.

Attorneys for Black News Channel did not immediately respond to Insider's request for comment. Ring declined to comment.

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