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Was female editor fired after discovering wage discrimination?

The first female editor of the venerable New York Times was recently fired by the publisher of the newspaper. Information has come to light in the days following the firing suggesting that the employment dispute was related to sex discrimination.

The newspaper’s management has sought to deny allegations that its executive editor was the victim of wage discrimination, claiming that her compensation package was “comparable to that of earlier executive editors.” The editor’s total pay package, which could include bonuses and stocks on top of a base salary, is unknown. It has been reported that her base salary was substantially less than that of her male predecessors.

The editor apparently discovered that she had been the subject of wage discrimination not just in the top editorial position but throughout her career at the newspaper. She had hired a lawyer to look into the issue of her compensation. She was fired shortly after, leaving the impression that the firing was retaliation.

The salary figures that came to light after the high-profile firing show that the female editor was paid $84,000 less than the male executive editor she replaced. After she campaigned for higher compensation, her salary was raised twice – and was still lower than the salary of the previous editor. In her prior position as a managing editor at the newspaper, she was paid less than a male colleague with the same job. Before that, she had been Washington bureau chief, with a salary that was $100,000 less than that of the man who was hired to replace her.

When New York employees bring patterns of sex discrimination to light, they may find themselves subject to retaliation and even wrongful termination. The best way for workers to protect their rights may be with the help of legal counsel.

Source: Huffington Post, “Jill Abramson Paid Much Less Than Men At The New York Times For Over A Decade: Report,” Jack Mirkinson, May 16, 2014

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