Arizona cable subscribers are most likely familiar with the Starz movie channel. One of its former employees has filed business litigation against the company, its CEO and the network's owner. It is alleged that the company engaged in illegal business practices in connection with the Time Warner-Comcast merger -- of which Charter Communications was a part -- that failed. He claims he was fired because he would not participate in any subterfuge.
Supposedly, executives at Starz convinced Charter Communications to make sure that the network was included in the deal. Doing so would have meant circumventing regulations of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). Allegedly, Starz would have seen large profits from this move.
The man, who is an African American, claims that he was also fired because he made sure that his department was diverse. He claims that upper management ridiculed him for this. He alleges this was just part of the gender and racial discrimination practiced by the company.
In his complaint, the former employee alleges wrongful termination, discrimination and retaliation, along with being fired for his refusal to participate in any illegal activities. The company, which at last report had not yet been served with the lawsuit, claims that these are merely the ramblings of a disgruntled employee. A company representative says that the lawsuit will be vigorously defended.
More than just potential damages are on the line for Starz. If the court finds that the man is telling the truth, it could spark a federal investigation. Anytime companies around the country, and here in Arizona, are faced with this type of litigation from employees, there is often more at stake than just monetary damages. Understandably, it is advisable for any company that finds itself facing such business litigation to act under the advice and guidance of an experienced business and commercial law attorney.
Source: hollywoodreporter.com, "Starz Sued by Former Employee For Illegal Business Dealings and Firing", Austin Siegemund-Broka, Oct. 30, 2015