Tag Archives: hostile work environment at Asheville Citizen-Times

Newspaper apparently settles $15 million workplace bullying lawsuit

There are reports that former Asheville Citizen-Times Editor Susan Ihne has settled her $15 million wrongful termination lawsuit against newspaper Publisher Randy Hammer and the newspaper’s parent company, Gannett Co.  The terms of the settlement haven’t been disclosed.

The lawsuit, filed by Susan Ihne in December 2008, claimed that she suffered from workplace bullying while working with Randy Hammer.  Ihne claimed that Hammer began bullying and harassing her shortly after he started working at the newspaper in october 2007. 

The lawsuit stated “that this harassment and bullying consisted of yelling and raising his voice at the Plaintiff, belittling and degrading her on the job, and misusing his power in a calculated effort to destroy her self-confidence and get her to resign from her job.”

Ihne also claimed that Hammer threatened to fire her and ordered her not to contact corporate headquarters concerning him.  Hammer “created a hostile work environment by his abusive conduct,” according to the lawsuit.

Ihne informed Gannett’s upper management about Hammer’s harassment and abusive conduct, but she claimed that Gannett failed to take action.  Furthermore, the lawsuit stated that Ihne was fired in May 2008, and Ihne claimed that the termination was “due to age discrimination and sex discrimination.”

Ihne joined the Citizen-Times in October 2005.  In a 27-year career with Gannett, Ihne worked for a number of newspapers as a reporter and manager. She was awarded the Gannett’s top honor for an editor — a President’s Ring — in 1999 and again in 2005.


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