Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Chuck Todd's Ex-Camerman Settles Age Discrimination Lawsuit ment Lawsuit

This is a FREELANCE article
- The Daily Caller - -
NBC News Quietly Settles Cameraman’s Age Discrimination Suit
Posted By Evan Gahr On 10:13 AM 09/05/2014 In | No Comments
A former cameraman for Chuck Todd, who debuts as “Meet the Press” anchor this Sunday, has quietly settled his age discrimination lawsuit against NBC.
But NBC News, which periodically accuses businesses of age discrimination, continues to keep the lawsuit under wraps.
George Hyatt, who worked on Todd’s “Daily Rundown” show on MSNBC, claimed an NBC Washington bureau manager abruptly fired him not long after telling subordinates that he wanted to hire “young blood.”
Hyatt, an NBC cameraman for three decades until his 2011 dismissal, first filed a complaint with the District of Columbia Office of Human Rights.
The investigative body ruled in 2012 that NBC had fired him for “legitimate, non-discriminatory reasons.”
But after getting a “right to sue letter” from the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, Hyatt sued NBC in U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia on March 7, 2013.
NBC Universal, the parent company of NBC News, contended in court papers that Hyatt was fired solely for poor performance. The company’s motion to dismiss also argued that Hyatt’s contract prohibited discrimination lawsuits against the company.
The judge assigned to the case rejected NBC’s request to throw it out, instead referring both parties last November to mediation before a federal magistrate.
It was settled on July 11, 2014, with no public notice.
The terms of the settlement, as is standard for employment cases, could not be determined from court papers.
The agreement simply stated that each side had agreed to have the case dismissed with prejudice — meaning it cannot be re-filed — and both parties would pay their own legal fees.
Hyatt, now 61, previously told The Daily Caller he wanted either money or his job back to settle his case. He is not currently employed by NBC, according to a Washington switchboard operator and the news desk.
Employment lawyer Morris Fischer told TheDC that NBC likely forked over cash to make Hyatt’s embarrassing lawsuit disappear.
“Usually, an age discrimination case that settles involves money. How much was paid in this case is anyone’s guess.”
Lawyers for both Hyatt and NBC would not comment.
Todd last year told TheDC that he knew nothing of Hyatt’s dismissal or lawsuit, and despite being the show’s host, was not responsible for how the cameraman was treated. Pressed further on Hyatt’s allegations, the normally loquacious newsman hung up the phone, saying “Buddy, all of this sounds like a joke to me.”
Hyatt had told TheDC that Todd was not complicit in his dismissal, but he hoped Todd would “speak out” on his behalf.
Todd did not respond to repeated inquiries about the settlement.

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New York is paying $100,000 to settle a sexual harassment lawsuit against Columbia University’s renowned psychiatric care and research institute.

Eric Dratte claimed that New York State Psychiatric Institute officials repeatedly shrugged off her complaints about sexual harassment by a co-worker because she was his ex-lover.

The New York State Office of Mental Health is picking up the tab for Dratte’s federal lawsuit because Columbia University runs the New York State Psychiatric Institute under its auspices. 

Dratte alleged that after she broke up with Kwame El he harassed her for years, saying “you have a pretty little pussy” and “all women want me because I am a big black man.”

El also made sexually laden anti-Semitic remarks to another co-worker, the lawsuit says.

But Institute officials either ignored protests about El or just shuffled him between posts, according to the lawsuit.

Dratte and El, who both worked as aides at the New York State Psychiatric Institute’s Audobon Clinic, an outpatient facility in Washington Heights, started dating in 1997.

After Dratte got pregnant and had an abortion, she dumped El in 1998. The harassment allegedly ensued almost immediately.

Dratte first notified her supervisors about El in 1999 but they pooh-poohed her concerns. Dr. Stephanie Lemelle “simply told plaintiff that she (Plaintiff) had been in a relationship with Kwame El and ‘should know how he is.’”

In 2001, after El exposed his penis to Dratte she complained to a different supervisor, Dr Pelligrino Sarti. El was transferred to another clinic. But in 2003 he was sent back to the Audobon Clinic.

After another employee filed a sexual harassment complaint against him in 2005 El was again transferred to a different clinic.

He returned to Audobon Clinic in 2007 and again tormented Dratte, saying, “You should have never have killed my baby.”

The lawsuit claims that El “would also make sexually harassing remarks about other female employees.”

In 2012, he allegedly told Dratte that another co-worker, Laura Panitz, “needs to be fucked” because she is Jewish.

Dratte and Panitz complained to Audobon Clinic director Jean Marie Bradford. But she told Dratte to just deal with it because of her previous relationship with El, the lawsuit says.

Dratte also complained to New York State Psychiatric Institute clinical director David Lowenthal but he did nothing to “remedy the harassment and/or prevent future harassment.”

Dratte sued the New York State Psychiatric Institute late last year for discrimination based on gender and creating a hostile work environment.  

The case was settled on April 30, 2014. The settlement has not been reported elsewhere, according to Google.

New York State Office of Mental Health spokesman Benjamin Rosen told the Daily Caller that El has been suspended without pay pending an investigation. “The Office of Mental Health has a zero tolerance policy against sexual harassment in the workplace. All allegations of sexual harassment are investigated and appropriate actions are taken in response, up to and including termination.”  

New York State Psychiatric Institute director Jeffrey Lieberman and clinical director David Lowenthal did not respond to requests for comment.

Erica Shnayder, the lawyer for Dratte, did not respond to repeated requests for comment.

Twitter: @EvanGahr


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