In the past few weeks, senior executive Candace Newman has filed a lawsuit against her former employer, Live Nation.
Newman believes she was practically fired from Live Nation for her complaints about workplace discrimination. Newman claims that Live Nation did not show their support with their complaints; Instead, she claims that the global entertainment company negated her complaints and then fired her with coronavirus-related layoffs as an excuse for relieving the company of the complaint.
From the start, the lawsuit said: “Live Nation continues racial and gender inequalities in recruitment, pay and promotion. It promotes a toxic work environment with harassment, discrimination and retaliation against employees such as plaintiffs who complain about lack of diversity and racial discrimination in the workplace. "
In an interview with the Los Angeles Sentinel about Zoom, Newman said, “In January… I sent the CEO (Michael Rapino) an email expressing all of this. (He) hired someone to investigate. The person responsible never spoke to me during this investigation. Instead, they talked to my other parties about my email and then sent me an email response to support their perspective without speaking to me at all. "
One of Newman's lawyers, Toni J. Jaramilla, said: "When an employee submits an allegation of discrimination or hostile work environment in the workplace, the company is required to promptly and fairly conduct an unbiased investigation."
Newman started her career at Live Nation in 2009, when she was hired as a management assistant. Through her hard work and self-representation, she was eventually promoted to project manager 6 ½ years later. About three years later, Newman asserted himself and became the only African American woman to be named director of US Concerts & Touring at the time.
Newman said: “I have never really had the same opportunities and access as many of my colleagues. I saw that many of my non-black, non-female colleagues came in and were promoted to assistant or project management roles within one or more roles for 2 years. It really allowed me to ask questions about why I'm still in this role after 6½ years. "
In particular, Newman says that she led "the entire process" of the Backstreet Boys tour last year, helping to generate over $ 100 million for Live Nation. She mentioned: “I have probably done four to five tours a year. These 100 million were generated from the (Backstreet Boys) tour last year alone. The other four tours that I worked on are not included. "
During the interview, Newman admitted that she was also the chief lawyer in recruiting Toni Braxton for LN as one of the few African American legacy acts. as well as booked tours for Santana and David Blaine.
Despite Newman's efforts in 2018, she found in the SILO salary breakdown that she was also significantly underpaid compared to her non-black or male counterparts at director level. Newman's salary was a third to 40% lower than that of her colleagues.
Regarding this underpayment, the lawsuit acknowledges that after her direct complaint to CEO Michael Rapino, Newman's compensation was adjusted to accommodate future colleagues. However, there was no offer to compensate them retrospectively. Newman explains: “I never received the money out of the hundreds of millions that I made (generated) as an incentive. And there are other colleagues of mine who are male and white and have received a breakdown of the tours they worked on. "
Attorney Toni J. Jaramilla also questioned Live Nation's incentive payments or their absence, saying, "This is what we are looking for. These ongoing fair pay violations. If they had really tried to do it right, and if if they really took their complaints about fairness and discriminatory pay seriously, they would have made them well by giving them the difference of what they should have been given. "
On July 9, Michael Rapino, CEO of Live Nation, publicly shared a letter about LN's $ 10 million initiative to promote greater diversity after the murder of George Floyd. Rapino said: “As a leading provider of live music, we have the opportunity and the responsibility to deepen the conversation about anti-racism and Black Lives Matter to be part of the solution. We are committed to taking steps to ensure that everyone in our community – employees, artists and fans – is valued, respected and treated fairly. "
In response to Rapino's public statement, Newman said, “I think that's great, but within my eleven years of experience, this plan was not in effect. So it only confirms what I say. “Newman's lawyers, Toni J. Jaramilla and May Mallari, are asking the court for unspecified damages, an injunction against discriminatory and retaliatory measures, punitive damages for all claims, and other claims in the lawsuit.
Live Nation made a statement to LA Sentinel regarding Candace Newman's lawsuit against her.
"We were surprised by Ms. Newman's allegation of unlawful termination because she is still an employee of Live Nation. Since the concerts were interrupted due to the pandemic, we unfortunately had to take vacation days into our company, which had the greatest impact on our concert department. Ours however, employees on leave are still valued employees who receive medical care and other benefits. We cannot comment on details of the lawsuit during an active litigation, but we want to make it clear that any allegations of bias and discrimination in Ms. Newman's allegations are completely unfounded. Live Nation is determined to be an anti-racist and just organization, and we are continually striving to create an environment where people feel comfortable and empowered. ”