Lawsuit Alleging Discrimination Widespread at New York Times

The venerable New York Times, one of the nation’s most widely read papers, is facing an unexpected lawsuit from two employees claiming discrimination is widespread at the Times. Two black, female employees in their sixties have filed a federal lawsuit.

Widespread Discrimination

Ernestine Grant and Majorie Walker have filed the lawsuit. Both women work in advertising at the paper. The suit names two people at the times: Chief Revenue Officer Meredith Levien and Chief Executive Mark Thompson. The plaintiffs allege that Thompson actively worked to marginalize the role of women at the Times. The suit further alleges that strong older female voices are not welcome at the paper. The plaintiffs are seeking monetary compensation for the discrimination they claim to have suffered as a result of this belief system.

An Ideal Customer

NYT-quoteThe suit alleges that the paper has both an ideal customer and an ideal client in mind. They assert that the ideal New York Times customer is someone who is younger, at the top end of the pay scale and white. They further allege that the paper also has an ideal employee in mind and this employee is also young, white and in the top percentiles for income. The lawsuit asserts that Times editors do not wish to hire people who do not fit this image. Plaintiffs suggest that those with families who do not meet these criteria have been denied promotional opportunities. They also assert that any company commitment to hiring people of diverse backgrounds has been actively subverted by those in positions of power here.

Denial of These Claims

A spokesperson for the paper vigorously denies all the claims made by both plaintiffs. The spokeswoman asserts that such claims will be fought in court by the company and have no merit at all. Company officials fully expect these claims to be dismissed once the case is heard in court. As the plaintiffs point out, only four of the fourteen members of the paper’s Board of director happen to be female. A single woman has been part of the paper’s ten member of executive committee.