Live Nation Hit With Lawsuit For Race And Gender Discrimination By Furloughed Executive

This case epitomizes the issue at the heart of the Black Lives Matter movement—systemic racism.

Opening Statement
Attorneys for Plaintiff, Candace Newman

Live Nation has consistently been in the spotlight in the music industry for some time now – for reasons that are not exactly positive. The promotion and ticket giant has found itself facing a fair share of issues when it comes to legal battles.

This includes the admittance of purposely transferring tickets for resale to gain extra profit, in which Live Nation (who merged with Ticketmaster back in 2010) reached a deal with the US Department of Justice which left Live Nation with a $1 million fine for unethical business practices back in December 2019.

We previously covered Live Nation’s resale of tickets and court agreement in these linked articles, for more context.

Once again, Live Nation are back in the news which sadly centres on further allegations of unethical business practices. According to a report by Variety, furloughed Executive Candace Newman has sued the company for alleged race and gender discrimination in the workplace.

A lawsuit has been filed in the L.A. County Superior Court, which Newman, a Black woman who worked as a Project Manager and Tour Director for Live Nation, alleged that she received backlash for confronting the company regarding a “toxic work environment” after she raised issues regarding race and gender discrimination in the workplace, claiming that other employees have faced similar retaliation.

In the lawsuit filed by Newman it is stated:

Ms. Newman dedicated long hours at work and was invested 100% into her job. Yet, her efforts and hard work did not pay off as it should, and she was continually undervalued and under compensated at Live Nation. Ms. Newman was further scrutinized and criticized far more harshly than her non-Black and/or male peers. When she finally reached a point where she could no longer tolerate this unfair treatment, Ms. Newman made a formal complaint of discrimination and retained counsel to protect her rights. In a blatant and malicious act of retaliation, Live Nation turned the investigation on her alleging that she had created the “hostile work environment” Live Nation terminated her employment under the guise of a “furlough” due to Covid-19.

This follows Live Nation’s statement following the “recent” eruption of the Black Lives Matter movement, in which they released a statement alleging solidarity with the black community and commitment to being actively anti-racist: yet evidently Newman alleges this is not the case.

In a statement, Live Nation claims that Newman’s allegations are baseless.

We were surprised by Ms. Newman’s claim of wrongful termination, as she is still an employee at Live Nation. With concerts on pause due to the pandemic we unfortunately had to implement furloughs across our company, most heavily impacting our concerts division, but our furloughed staff are still valued employees, receiving healthcare and other benefits. We cannot comment on specifics of the lawsuit while in active litigation, however, we would like to be clear that any allegations of bias and discrimination in Ms. Newman’s claims are completely unfounded. Live Nation is fully committed to being an anti-racist and equitable organization and we continuously strive to foster an environment where employees feel comfortable and empowered.

Newman is also suing the company for:

  • Race Discrimination
  • Gender Discrimination
  • Retaliation For Opposing Discrimation
  • Failure to Prevent Discrimination
  • Wrongful Termination
  • Unpaid Overtime
  • Equal Pay Violation
  • Innacturate Paystubs

She is seeking compensatory and punitive damages and an injunction to prevent further discrimination in the workplace.

Read the full lawsuit uploaded by Pitchfork News, as well as the in depth Variety article.

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