A former KUSA anchor has filed a federal lawsuit against the station and its parent company Tegna, alleging racial and disability-related discrimination.
Kristen Aguirre was let go by the Denver station in April 2020 following an ischemic stroke she suffered that required her to learn to speak and walk again.
In a suit filed this week, Aguirre claims KUSA management participated in unlawful, discriminatory employment practices that inflicted emotional pain, suffering and inconvenience depriving her of financial benefits. Aguirre, who is now anchoring and reporting in Asheville, N.C., said the station treated her differently, denied her reasonable accommodations, retaliated against her and discriminated against her based on race and her disability.
Aguirre said in an interview with the Denver Post that her life changed dramatically after she was fired.
“I had to leave Denver and make a new life,” she said. “I’m obligated to support the next person that this happens to because what we know is that every 40 seconds, someone has a stroke and I feel obligated to make sure they have better treatment than what I was faced with.”
KUSA general manager Mark Cornetta said in a statement to the Post that the station did everything it could to “support her in redeveloping her abilities following her stroke.”
“We have and continue to wish her well. We are confident that our station provided appropriate, reasonable accommodations to assist Kristen on her path toward recovery,” said Cornetta. “Additionally, 9NEWS has diversity programs in place and is committed to an inclusive and diverse environment for all employees.”