Screenshot via Facebook
In a recent video, Jamie Allman got pecked by a bird. A very clever metaphor. (Tweeting, get it?)
Former 97.1 FM radio host Jamie Allman is plotting his comeback. In addition to a morning podcast dubbed Radio Free Allman
, he's also filed suit against station owner Entercom Communications, alleging wrongful termination.
In the lawsuit, which was filed last Friday but first reported by the St. Louis Post-Dispatch earlier today
, the conservative radio host claims that Entercom violated his employment contract when it fired him on April 10.
Allman's termination came only four days after Riverfront Times first reported
on an uncomfortably graphic tweet written by the radio host on March 26. The tweet, which concerned Allman's interest in applying a hot poker to the ass of Parkland shooting survivor David Hogg, sparked a boycott and national media coverage.
Post-firing, Allman insisted
he never intended the tweet to represent a literal threat of sexual assault. But regardless of intent, a grown man tweeting about his desire to "ram a hot poker" up the ass of a teenage school shooting survivor brought swift action from Allman's employers. On April 9, Sinclair Broadcast group cancelled his TV show
, and one day later, Entercom announced that KFTK had "parted ways"
with the embattled host.
As we've reported previously
, Allman contests the "parted ways" narrative. He argues that he never signed the company's paperwork to make the termination official.
The suit doesn't try to argue that Allman was never actually fired. But it does make claims against Entercom and the station's former ownership group, Emmis Radio, which is also named as a defendant.
Essentially, Allman is arguing that while he was ostensibly fired "for cause," his bosses never actually had proper cause.
As outlined in excerpts from Allman's employee agreement included in the lawsuit, his employers could have fired him for "actual or threatened violence against another employee" and "sexual or other prohibited harassment of others."
But, the lawsuit insists, Allamn did neither.
"On or about April 10, 2018, Defendants Entercom, Entercom Missouri, and
Entercom License breached said contract for employment by terminating Plaintiff," the lawsuit reads. "Said termination of Plaintiffs employment by Defendants Entercom, Entercom Missouri, and Entercom License was without cause."
The lawsuit also notes that, as an on-air personality, Allman was "required to maintain an active social media presence on and participate in various social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter." Later, the suit describes Allman's March 26 tweet about Hogg as "part of [Allman's] mandated social media duties."
The lawsuit also argues that Entercom's decision to fire Allman violated an existing program agreement with Emmis. That agreement, suit contends, gave Emmis "full authority, power and control over the policies, programming and operations of the Stations and over all persons working at the Stations."
Similarly, the suit targets Emmis for breach of contract, alleging it violated the same program agreement by permitting Entercom to fire Allman.
Allman is now seeking a judge's order to reinstate him to his old job and to force the radio station's owners to compensate him for lost salary or, alternatively, to force the station owners to compensate Allman with the projected total earnings between the time he was fired and the expiration of his most recent contract, which had been set for August 2020.
The lawsuit also seeks a declaratory judgement to strike down the non-compete clause in Allman's contract with the station.
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