Former KCTV MMJ sports journalist Adam Orduna has filed a federal lawsuit against the Kansas City CBS affiliate saying he was discriminated against because of his race.
Orduna is the third KCTV journalist to file a discrimination lawsuit against the station in the last four months.
A chief meteorologist and former news anchor for the station have also sued, alleging supervisors discriminated against them on the basis of their age and gender.
The Kansas City Star said Orduna, who is Black, alleges he was undermined by a similarly qualified white colleague who was given “apparent authority” over his schedule and work performance. He claimed the station allowed his work and reputation to be unfairly scrutinized by a colleague, whom he alleged to have a prejudice against Black people.
Orduna was hired by the station when it was owned by Meredith. The lawsuit said when Gray took over a white colleague with similar qualifications was given “apparent authority” to monitor Orduna’s hours and assign him projects.
From the Star:
The colleague “misleadingly” documented Orduna’s alleged performance issues, according to the lawsuit. In some instances, the colleague reported Orduna for not showing up on Saturday nights to work on a show, despite having instructed Orduna to leave before the show so as not to work over 40 hours per week.
On another occasion, the colleague allegedly manipulated the work schedule so that Orduna would be required to work one Saturday. Orduna claimed he was not made aware of the schedule change and was reprimanded for missing work.
The lawsuit said such situations damaged Orduna’s reputation.
After his colleague said Orduna couldn’t anchor. Orduna said news director, Kate Glover, who had been accused of discrimination in a previous lawsuit, encouraged him to do so and said she “had no issues with him anchoring,” the lawsuit said.
After he anchored, Glover met with Orduna and the station gm, whom, he said, criticized him for his lack of experience. Glover also told him his anchoring was “not strong enough for this market” and she was initially “just trying to be nice.”
Later, Orduna was told that he may be fired if he did not consider switching from the sports to the news department at the station, according to the lawsuit.
Orduna then went to HR saying his colleague had been “targeting him, creating a hostile work environment, and generally displaying a lack of respect,” out of prejudice toward Black people, according to the lawsuit.
He was later fired because of his “suitability” for the role.
Orduna is seeking compensation for punitive damages, attorney’s fees and any other related costs. The lawsuit does not say how much money Orduna is seeking, but it does request a jury trial.
We asked Gray about it and will update when we hear back.