Toronto’s JAZZ.FM91 Faces Third Lawsuit

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Another former employee of JAZZ.FM91 has filed suit against the station, bringing to three the number of legal cases the troubled Toronto-based not-for-profit is facing after its former CEO stepped down last May in the wake of allegations of workplace bullying and sexual harassment.

Glenn Knight is asking the courts for a judgement of $25,000, claiming damages for breach of contract; aggravated mental distress, and/or punitive damages; and other special damages. Mr. Knight worked at the station for almost six years, including most recently in a one-year stint as program director that ended in August.

The suit, which comes on the heels of a $420,000 wrongful-dismissal claim by former morning host Garvia Bailey and amid an effort by disenchanted members to overhaul the board, could further derail attempts by the listener-supported station to push past the workplace controversy.

According to his statement of claim, filed in Ontario’s Superior Court of Justice small-claims court Nov. 6, Mr. Knight told station management last March that he intended to leave, “due to concerns about an increasingly toxic work environment.”

The board had just received a letter from 13 then-current and former employees alleging “ongoing workplace harassment, sexual harassment, bullying and general mismanagement of the station” by its then-CEO, Ross Porter. The station asked Mr. Knight to stay on temporarily, to ensure continuity while it brought in an independent investigator to probe the allegations. It increased his remuneration and promised him severance payments equivalent to 16.5 weeks of salary, almost $24,000, as outlined in a Stay Agreement.

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