An employee has accused leading concert promoter Live Nation of “systemic racism” in a stunning new discrimination lawsuit.
Candace Newman, a furloughed Live Nation tour manager, submitted the complaint to a California federal court, and DMN secured an exclusive copy of the corresponding filing. For additional background, the text indicates that Newman is African American and describes her as “a hard-working single mother who is 38 years old.” Hired by Live Nation in 2009, she was promoted to tour manager in 2019 and was furloughed at this month’s start.
The 19-page-long legal document doesn’t hesitate to lay the foundation for Newman’s far-reaching allegations, for its very first line reads: “This case epitomizes the issue at the heart of the Black Lives Matter movement- systemic racism.”
From there, the lawsuit describes the ways in which Live Nation allegedly discriminated against and unfairly treated Newman, as part of a larger habit of allegedly perpetuating “race and gender inequalities in hiring, pay and promotion” and allegedly fostering “a toxic work environment of harassment, discrimination, and retaliating against employees.”
Live Nation’s decision to instruct Newman “to immediately dismantle” Empower Network, a “women employee resource group” that Newman founded in 2015, is cited as the first example of alleged discrimination. An executive allegedly told Newman that vice presidents and above were the only employees authorized to organize resource groups, before directing her support to another such group, Women Nation. Newman apparently wasn’t invited to join Women Nation.
After that, in May 2016, the filing states that Newman received a “memo that asserted various deficiencies in her performance from two superiors”, both of whom were “male Caucasian employees.”
These individuals allegedly bypassed Newman “on the promotional track” despite possessing “less experience and seniority.” Additionally, one of these individuals allegedly moved to deny Newman a promotion.
And in 2018, Newman allegedly obtained evidence showing that “she was getting paid significantly lower [30 to 40 percent, per the filing] in comparison to other directors on her team,” brought said evidence to Live Nation CEO Michael Rapino, and saw her pay adjusted “to align with her peers.”
Lastly, the complaint touches on a September 2019 “Final Written Warning” that Live Nation issued to Newman, following an August 2019 incident in the company’s “bar/lounge area” and another employee’s report that Newman addressed her “in a manner that made her feel uncomfortable.” Allegedly, the plaintiff’s “explanation was disregarded and dismissed” by Live Nation.
Newman then filed a “formal complaint of discrimination” against Live Nation and was placed on administrative leave during a subsequent investigation, which found no evidence of unfair treatment against her. However, the inquiry spurred a separate investigation into Newman’s own conduct based upon some coworkers’ claims that she created a “hostile work environment.”
Due to Live Nation’s alleged discrimination and recently furloughing Newman, the lawsuit claims that she has “suffered extreme emotional distress, including but not limited to, insomnia, anxiety, panic attacks, and depression.”
At the time of this writing, Live Nation hadn’t publicly responded to the legal complaint.
More as this develops.