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Clear Channel sued by ad sales executives for racial discrimination in accounts

(August 26, 2013) Clear Channel, one of the nation's largest radio station owners and operators, is being sued by seven current and former salespersons in New Orleans in U.S. District Court. The group alleges in 2009 the company re-distributed the accounts of African-American sales reps working in the New Orleans and Baton Rouge area, giving them out-of-town business and assignments "on a race-conscious basis."

While acknowledging that the weak economy impacted the efforts of all sales reps, the plaintiffs allege Clear Channel "disproportionately victimized" black sales reps because the "better quality advertisers with larger budgets" went to white reps, who handled most of the top 20 accounts. The EEOC reviewed platiffs' allegations and gave approval for the lawsuit to go forward.

The seven-page complaint was filed by Wil Watson, Gary Watson, Prixie Montgomery, Ave Gains, Darnetta Mahaffy-Nelson, Dinah Campbell and Brandin Campbell and alleges sales compensation methods by Clear Channel's New Orleans cluster are discriminatory.

Clear Channel settled suits filed earlier by two African-American employees and is defending separate charges made by Prixie Montgomery. It has not yet commented on the latest lawsuit filed by the seven employees.

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