The Atlanta Journal-Constitution recently featured Omar Butcher, our client,
in a story that talked about his time at CNN and his struggle to receive
the same opportunities as his colleagues. As a young man, Omar dreamed
of becoming a journalist. After growing up in Germany and Italy—his
father was in the Army—he attended Florida State University to earn
a degree in Mass Media Studies.
After getting his degree, Omar was chosen to intern for CNN—a moment
that he and his entire family celebrated. Shortly after getting his foot
in the door, Omar made it his goal to become a writer at the Atlanta-based
news organization. When his company started looking for new writers, he
quickly applied—but never received an interview. He was still waiting
for them to respond to his application when he received a mass email congratulating
the new writer chosen for the position.
“I was crushed,” he recalled after hearing the news.
Omar even took steps to ask what he could have done to be a stronger contender—an
HR official at his company explained to him the normal procedure for the
hiring process. Omar noted that none of the steps she mentioned were ever
applied to him.
Further Denial of Opportunity
Eventually, Omar worked his way up to a position as a writer and segment
producer. When another promotion opportunity came up, Omar was passed
over without getting an interview. He asked his manager about why he wasn’t
even considered—and his manager questioned Omar’s training
and qualifications. Instead of questioning his manager, Omar decided to
pursue further training opportunities to increase his odds of a promotion.
He was denied
the opportunity to train.
Omar began to notice that the positions he wasn’t even being considered
for were going to his colleagues—the majority of whom were white.
As a religious man, Omar was also unfortunately subjected to religious
discrimination. Our client was offended by repeated swearing that used
elements of his faith—which created a hostile work environment.
The Final Straw
The final episode that led Omar to file a lawsuit occurred shortly before
he was fired—and we allege that it’s the
reason he was fired. CNN anchor Ashley Banfield asked in an on-air report whether
the violence in the African-American community indicated that the entire
generation of young men was “lost,” and asked if “there
is an entire generation out there that cannot be changed…they just
have to age and die.”
Omar privately sent an email to explain to Banfield why her comments would
be considered troubling—especially as she never posed the same questions
in stories involving young white males who commit murder. Banfield allegedly
responded defensively, questioned whether Omar was calling her a racist,
and promised to take it up with their managers.
Omar was fired the next day.
Fighting for Lost Wages & Lost Opportunities
Ultimately, our client isn’t just looking for a way to satisfy his
sense of justice. He wants to do what he’s always wanted to do—become
a journalist and contribute to the national dialogue. Instead of rightfully
getting the opportunity to do so, he was repeatedly ignored and denied
the same opportunities as his colleagues. That’s why he turned to
our Atlanta employment lawyers.
Our claim is fighting for his possible reinstatement at CNN, as well as
the promotions (or opportunities to promote) that he should have received
in the first place. Buckley Beal LLP is proud to fight for Omar and show
that discrimination, either religious or racial, is unacceptable in the
workplace. Our firm aims to help him receive the justice he needs to build
his career without prejudicial impediments.
To read the original article,
visit the link here.