Jann Wenner's company was busy laying off staffers left and right over the last few years, but it managed to keep the property manager at his (kind of ex-) wife's Hamptons estate on the payroll in this tough media environment, according to a new lawsuit.
Rolling Stone founder Jann Wenner and his wife Jane have been separated for years, most likely on account of Jann's being a gay man. But they still remain married, and Jane retains a title of vice president at Wenner Media. And one of the perks of that gig, apparently, is having the company pay for a guy to live at her house in Amagansett and tend to the grounds and take care of her dog.
That guy used to be Brent Baynon, a Suffolk County man who filed a complaint this week in federal court against Jane Wenner and Wenner Media for payment of back wages and discrimination. According to Baynon's complaint, he was employed for at least three years "inspecting the house and grounds of the Wenner estate, caring for defendant Wenner's dogs, setting up appointments for any work that needed to be done on the estate, and managing the daily staff schedule" before Wenner fired him in January. Baynon says he worked more than 825 hours in unpaid overtime in 2009 and 2010, and claims he was illegally fired over a back disability.
According to the complaint, Baynon "received a paycheck twice a month from defendant Wenner Media, for the services he performed at...Wenner's estate." When he was terminated, it was Amy Burak, Wenner Media's head of human resources, who did the firing. So if you're one of the dozens and dozens of hapless editors and writers who've been capriciously fired by Wenner over the years in his ruthless efforts to cut costs, you should give him a call. There may be an opening in Amagansett.
Baynon's attorney declined to comment, saying "the complaint speaks for itself." A representative of Wenner Media did not immediately return a phone call. Read the full complaint here:
[Photo of Wenner via Getty Images]