SAG settles suit filed by minority exec Baiz

Settlement terms not disclosed

The Screen Actors Guild has reached an out-of-court settlement with a former top guild affirmative action exec after he alleged race discrimination.

Terms of the settlement of the suit by Thomas Chavez Baiz were not disclosed. Baiz filed the action in 2000 in Los Angeles Superior Court, claiming he was unfairly passed over for a promotion, then fired in 1998.

Baiz, who is Mexican-American, said the guild discriminated against him by refusing to promote him to the position of executive administrator, affirmative action, after Gil Avila resigned. He was subsequently terminated from his job as assistant administrator after Patricia Heisser Metoyer was tapped to replace Avila.

The settlement is the second in recent months of a wrongful-termination suit by a former minority exec within SAG’s affirmative action department. Peter Nguyen, who is Asian-American, also has reached an out-of-court settlement with the guild over his termination in 2001.

Metoyer, who was placed on leave the same day Nguyen was fired, also has sued SAG and alleged she was forced out over her complaints that the guild falsified statistics on the racial makeup of the staff. Other minority ex-employees who sued the guild last year for alleged wrongful termination are former business rep Ray McCoy Daniels Jr. and ex-contracts administrator Kelley Langford.

SAG’s two top execs within its human resources department also left the guild late last year.

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