The Inbox

| Marcus, Ellen

This week's latest news in suits by suits:

  • Former Univision National Radio Sales President Laura Hagan has sued the company, its parent company, Katz Media, and the now-deceased CEO of Katz Media, Stu Olds, for discrimination and breach of her employment contract in federal court in New York. Hagan is 66 and was born in Ecuador. She claims that, despite her division consistently exceeding sales projections, Olds asked her to resign without explanation in October 2008. The EEOC issued Hagan a right to sue letter in May 2012. According to Hagan, Olds made repeated remarks to Hagan concerning her age, race and national origin, and, at a managers’ meeting in 2004 attended by 250 company employees, included in a slide presentation a photo of Carmen Miranda (of Chiquita Banana) that was manipulated to show Hagan’s face.
  • Earlier this week, Facebook and the ACLU filed friend-of-the-court briefs in the appeal currently pending before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit presenting the issue of whether "liking" a political candidate on Facebook is constitutionally-protected speech. The issue arose in the workplace. Plaintiff was a deputy in the sheriff’s office in Hampton, Virginia, and clicked that he "liked" the Facebook page of the candidate challenging his boss in an election. His boss was re-elected sheriff and then fired plaintiff and some of his colleagues, allegedly because they did not support him in the election. A federal judge found that "liking" on Facebook is not protected speech and granted summary judgment to the sheriff. Kashmir Hill of Forbes has written this analysis of the arguments presented by Facebook and the ACLU that "liking" is, in fact, speech protected by the First Amendment.
  • The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit has held that former Thomas M. Cooley Law School professor Lynn Branham was not entitled to any rights protecting her against termination beyond those provided in her one-year employment contract. Branham argued that the ABA’s suggested tenure policies, including its suggestion that professors "should have permanent or continuous tenure" should be read into her employment contract. The Sixth Circuit held that Branham’s employment contract did not incorporate that suggestion from the ABA, which is only a suggestion, not a requirement, in any event.