Long Island Business News is reporting that James Bernstein, a veteran of Newsday since 1972, has been fired. The move comes only months after another Newsday employee accused Bernstein of inappropriately touching him two years ago. Bernstein’s lawyer, James Vagnini, said Newsday found no evidence to support the accusation.
“They brought in a third-party investigator who spoke to everybody in the newsroom,” Vagnini told LIBN. “It cost Jim a lot of money to get a lawyer for what he knew was frivolous. The investigator found no substantiation of this employee’s complaint.”
Bernstein was allegedly still upset about the matter, which is what led to his firing:
After seeing the employee who accused him, Bernstein later told another employee he was extremely upset with the accuser, who was still employed at the publication. As a result of that incident, Bernstein was suspended last Tuesday afternoon and formally let go via a telephone call.
Vagnini and Bernstein plan to challenge the paper on the validity of the latest claim. “I don’t know of any employment law that allows an employer to terminate an employee who’s falsely accused of something,” said Vagnini.