Live Nation Sued For Gender And Racial Discrimination By Furloughed Touring Director
Live Nation was sued for racial and gender discrimination, wrongful termination and retaliation, among other charges, by former national touring director Candace Newman in Los Angeles Superior Court July 9.
Newman was among those furloughed by the company because of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, but she contends she was terminated in an act of retaliation for filing a workplace discrimination complaint with the company in February.
In her complaint that begins with the words “Black Lives Matter,” Newman alleges Live Nation “continues to perpetuate race and gender inequalities hiring, pay and promotion” and “… fosters a toxic work environment of harassment, discrimination and retaliating” against employees like herself.
Newman, a 38-year-old Black woman and single mother, says she was employed at Live Nation for 11 years in the touring department, and most recently was Tour Director for the North American region. She says she was notified June 18 that she was being furloughed effective July 1.
Live Nation said in May it would begin the process of cutbacks and furloughs that could affect up to 20% of its workforce.
In her complaint, Newman alleges she was improperly classified as an exempt employee and denied overtime pay, was paid as much as 40% less than equivalent male counterparts, was disciplined and reviewed unfairly, and denied promotions, among other claims.
The 10-count suit alleges Live Nation failed to prevent discrimination in violation of the Fair Employment and Housing Act, unpaid overtime, and other violations of California Labor Code and Business and Professional Code. Violations.
Newman seeks unspecified general and punitive damages to be assessed at trial as well as attorney and court costs.
Live Nation counters that Newman was not terminated but furloughed and, as such, is considered to be a current employee. In a statement to Pollstar, Live Nation responds: “We were surprised by Ms. Newman’s claim of wrongful termination, as she is still an employee at Live Nation. With concerts on pause due to the pandemic we unfortunately had to implement furloughs across our company, most heavily impacting our concerts division, but our furloughed staff are still valued employees, receiving healthcare and other benefits.
“We cannot comment on specifics of the lawsuit while in active litigation, however, we would like to be clear that any allegations of bias and discrimination in Ms. Newman’s claims are completely unfounded. Live Nation is fully committed to being an anti-racist and equitable organization and we continuously strive to foster an environment where employees feel comfortable and empowered.”