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NBC News Quietly Settles Cameraman’s Age Discrimination Suit
Posted By Evan Gahr On 10:13 AM 09/05/2014 In | No Comments
A former cameraman for Chuck Todd, who debuts as “Meet the Press” anchor this Sunday, has quietly settled his age discrimination lawsuit against NBC.
But NBC News, which periodically accuses businesses of age discrimination, continues to keep the lawsuit under wraps.
George Hyatt, who worked on Todd’s “Daily Rundown” show on MSNBC, claimed an NBC Washington bureau manager abruptly fired him not long after telling subordinates that he wanted to hire “young blood.”
Hyatt, an NBC cameraman for three decades until his 2011 dismissal, first filed a complaint with the District of Columbia Office of Human Rights.
The investigative body ruled in 2012 that NBC had fired him for “legitimate, non-discriminatory reasons.”
But after getting a “right to sue letter” from the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, Hyatt sued NBC in U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia on March 7, 2013.
NBC Universal, the parent company of NBC News, contended in court papers that Hyatt was fired solely for poor performance. The company’s motion to dismiss also argued that Hyatt’s contract prohibited discrimination lawsuits against the company.
The judge assigned to the case rejected NBC’s request to throw it out, instead referring both parties last November to mediation before a federal magistrate.
It was settled on July 11, 2014, with no public notice.
The terms of the settlement, as is standard for employment cases, could not be determined from court papers.
The agreement simply stated that each side had agreed to have the case dismissed with prejudice — meaning it cannot be re-filed — and both parties would pay their own legal fees.
Hyatt, now 61, previously told The Daily Caller he wanted either money or his job back to settle his case. He is not currently employed by NBC, according to a Washington switchboard operator and the news desk.
Employment lawyer Morris Fischer told TheDC that NBC likely forked over cash to make Hyatt’s embarrassing lawsuit disappear.
“Usually, an age discrimination case that settles involves money. How much was paid in this case is anyone’s guess.”
Lawyers for both Hyatt and NBC would not comment.
Todd last year told TheDC that he knew nothing of Hyatt’s dismissal or lawsuit, and despite being the show’s host, was not responsible for how the cameraman was treated. Pressed further on Hyatt’s allegations, the normally loquacious newsman hung up the phone, saying “Buddy, all of this sounds like a joke to me.”
Hyatt had told TheDC that Todd was not complicit in his dismissal, but he hoped Todd would “speak out” on his behalf.
Todd did not respond to repeated inquiries about the settlement.
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