Former Register-Guard entertainment writer Serena Markstrom Nugent today filed a $525,000 lawsuit against her former employer, claiming the paper illegally fired her last year after she told managers she was pregnant.
Markstrom Nugent, a well known reporter who wrote about pop music under the byline Serena Markstrom, claims in her suit, filed in Lane County Circuit Court, that the paper illegally discriminated against her because of her gender, created a hostile work environment, illegally retaliated against her, and violated the Oregon Family Leave Act.
I’ll post a copy of the filing when it becomes available. I have also emailed RG editor and publisher Christian Anderson and public relations director Bridget Baker for comment, and will add anything they offer to this post.
Naturally, I know Serena well, having worked closely with her at the newspaper for many years. My sympathies lie entirely with her in this complicated episode, which is described with great clarity and detail in the legal filing. Apparently, her lawyer — Portland attorney Christopher Lundberg, at Haglund Kelley– really knows how to write.
The lawsuit also comes at an interesting time at the R-G: Anderson just began work this spring as the newspaper’s first non-family-member publisher in decades. My guess is the new guy is going to want to settle this thing and get it behind him as quickly as possible.