When the City Paper was sold by Times-Shamrock to the Baltimore Sun Media Group in March, all CP employees were laid off by Times-Shamrock. Most were then rehired by BSMG. The rest were offered severance packages. That is, except for art director and “Mr. Wrong” columnist Joe MacLeod. And now MacLeod (who continues to write his column as a freelancer) is suing his former employers for $35,086.44, three times what he argues he should have gotten when he was let go, for breach of contract.
According to a City Paper article, Times-Shamrock justified their denial of a severance package by citing an obscenity-ridden “Mr. Wrong” column — which never saw print — as a failure on MacLeod’s part to continue the “satisfactory performance of [his] job duties through the closing date of the sale.”
It certainly strikes me as more than harsh to claim that submitting one unprintable column in a 25-year career could void a severance obligation — particularly when you’re not primarily a columnist but the art director. Here’s hoping MacLeod gets his money.