New York Times Hit With Age, Gender Discrimination SuitPosted: August 8, 2015
The suit claims that in September 2013, 30 employees were targeted for dismissal, mostly older and minority employees. They were replaced ‘in virtually every case by a white employee under the age of 40,’ the suit claims.
Keith J. Kelly reports: The New York Times Co. and its chief revenue officer are being sued by a former ad executive with nine years of service for “age, gender and race” discrimination after she got a new boss.
Tracy Quitasol, a 51-year-old Asian-American woman, was let go in January 2014 by Meredith Levien, who was a high-profile hire from Forbes two years ago and is now the chief revenue officer of the NYT Co.
Quitasol had been heading the Idea Lab, designed to come up with new digital ad programs, and was the executive director of product marketing and ad platform innovation.
The most explosive claim in the suit is the allegation that Levien, in a downsizing that took place in September 2013, let go predominantly older and minority employees.
A Times spokeswoman pointed out the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has passed on taking action on Quitasol’s complaints and said, “We plan to mount a vigorous defense against this suit.”
On the personal front, Quitasol claims in the Manhattan federal court suit that her problems began when Levien — then the executive vice president of advertising — along with the company’s human resources department failed to curb a junior-level staffer who refused to follow her instructions.
Quitasol claims it was a case of “gender discrimination” by the male employee — who, the suit claims, would only respond to instructions from male superiors. She brought the problem to the attention of Levien and HR who, the suit alleges, failed to take action.
On the discrimination charge, the suit claims during “two off-site meetings attended by all the advertising vice presidents, HR officials and Quitasol in September 2013, Levien said she would evaluate employees on whether they were ‘fresh to their career’ and ‘whether they have a family, what’s their situation.’ ”
At the meetings, “photographs of each staff member were shown on a screen and Levien repeatedly said, ‘We want people to look like the people we are selling to,’ ” according to the suit, and asked questions clearly intended to determine their “age, marital status and whether they had a family.”
The suit claims that in September 2013, 30 employees were targeted for dismissal, mostly older and minority employees….(read more)
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