Sexual discrimination lawsuit against WTLC owner thrown out

A sexual discrimination lawsuit filed by a fired employee of Indianapolis stations WTLC-FM and WTLC-AM has been thrown out by the judge in the case.

In the lawsuit filed in June 2014 in U.S. District Court in the Southern District of Indiana, Kelly Vaughn said she conceived of a program featuring WTLC personality Amos Brown and local political commentator Abdul-Hakim Shabazz prior to being hired in 2012 by Maryland-based media company Radio One to work at the WTLC stations.

Once “The Amos & Abdul Show” aired locally on WHMB-TV Channel 40, management at WTLC fired Vaughn for working on the show’s development, the suit claims. However, Brown, who allegedly helped develop the show, was not fired.

Vaughn sued on the ground of sexual discrimination, saying the company merely disciplined Brown but fired her over their involvement in the project. Brown died unexpectedly in November.

Vaughn’s suit requested lost wages, benefits and other compensation from Radio One, as well as unspecified compensatory, consequential and punitive damages.

Radio One officials called the allegations of sexual discrimination "plainly fabricated." They said they had been discussing the creation of a radio show for Brown and Shabazz prior to hiring Vaughn and said that her involvement in WHMB-TV show was a conflict of interest.

In its ruling handed down Dec. 30, the court stated that Brown had very different “employment responsibilities [from Vaughn] …and their responses to Radio One’s conflict determination were drastically different.”

In its summary judgment response to the lawsuit, Radio One stated it “disciplined Amos Brown by issuing a formal written warning” and that he was “contrite” and “fully cooperated and promptly remedied his conflict of interest.”

But Vaughn ultimately stonewalled the station, Radio One said in its response to the lawsuit. Vaughn was terminated on March 5, 2013.

Radio One further stated that “except for [market manager] Chuck Williams, every other person involved in the termination decision was female.”

Williams and Vaughn’s attorney, Mary Beth Ramey, were not available for comment Monday morning.

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