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Univision Radio Lawsuit Alleges Age, Accent Discrimination

By Andrew Chow, Esq. on August 09, 2012 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

An ex-Univision Radio sales executive's lawsuit claims age, race, and even foreign-accent discrimination by her former boss created a hostile work environment.

Laura Hagan, 66, a native of Ecuador, complained to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission which declined to take the case but has given Hagan a Notice of Right to Sue her ex-employer, The Huffington Post reports.

While Univision targets the Spanish-speaking market, Hagan was the only Hispanic executive on Univision Radio's national sales team when she was fired in 2008, her lawsuit claims.

What allegedly led to her firing?

Laura Hagan's Univision lawsuit claims the late Stu Olds, then-CEO of Katz Media which oversaw Univision National Radio Sales, ridiculed her because of her age and national origin, HuffPo reports. (Katz Media is owned by Clear Channel, which Hagan also names in her lawsuit.)

According to Hagan's suit, the discriminatory incidents included:

  • Olds' alleged doctoring of a photo of either Carmen Miranda or the Chiquita Banana lady, over which he pasted an image of Hagan's face. Olds showed the altered image to a meeting of 250 Univision executives.
  • Olds' alleged public comments about Hagan being "too old," and blaming her age for causing a workplace accident.
  • Olds' alleged "commenting that [Hagan's] Spanish accent was a liability and an impediment to business." After one meeting, for example, Olds allegedly quipped that Hagan had "conducted the meeting in another language."

Olds, who died of leukemia in 2010, allegedly fired Hagan because of her age and accent -- though he told coworkers she'd retired, Hagan's lawsuit asserts.

Neither Hagan's attorney nor a Katz Media spokesman responded to HuffPo's requests for comment. Laura Hagan's Univision lawsuit was filed Aug. 3 in a New York federal court.

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