A proposed class action lawsuit has been filed against the largest U.S. newspaper publisher, Gannet Co Inc., by employees alleging they were fired or passed over for promotion to elevate less qualified women and minorities. Plaintiffs claim that the company’s efforts to diversify newsrooms has led to discrimination against white workers.
According to the complaint, a policy announced in 2020 revealed the publisher’s push to transform newsrooms to reflect the demographics of the communities they serve by 2025, going so far as to tie executive bonuses and promotions to meeting the diversity goals.
Pointing to reverse discrimination, one plaintiff is alleging they were fired from management and subsequently passed over for another position because they are white. Another claims they were passed over for promotion, with the opportunity passing to a less qualified minority, female applicant.
Legal counsel for the news publisher responded to the lawsuit saying the company always seeks to recruit and retain the most qualified workers and that they intend to “vigorously defend their practice of ensuring equal opportunities for all our valued employees”. Even so, there is growing backlash against corporate diversity programs with employees and conservative groups taking aim at companies over real or perceived workplace discrimination.
Starbuck Corp, Target Corp, and Progressive Insurance are just a few companies that have received pushback against diversity programs from shareholders. Several complaints have been filed with the EEOC accusing large companies of employment discrimination against white and male workers.
Federal and many state laws forbid discrimination on the basis of race or color when it comes to any aspect of employment, including hiring, firing, pay, job assignments, promotions, layoff, training, fringe benefits, and any other term or condition of employment.
Employment Discrimination Based on Race
Racial discrimination involves treating an applicant or employee unfavorably because he or she is of a certain race or because of personal characteristics associated with race. Color discrimination involves treating someone unfavorably because of the skin color complexion. Race and color discrimination can also involve discrimination based on the race or color of an applicant or an employee’s spouse, partner or close associate.
Employment Discrimination Based on Sex
Sex discrimination involves treating someone (an applicant or employee) unfavorably because of that person’s sex, including the person’s sexual orientation, gender identity, or pregnancy. The law forbids sex discrimination when it comes to any aspect of employment, including hiring, firing, pay, job assignments, promotions, layoff, training, fringe benefits, and any other term or condition of employment.
If you have been terminated from your job due to discrimination in the workplace, or suffered other adverse employment actions including harassment based on your sex or race, contact employment discrimination lawyer Alan C. Olson for help today at 262-785-9606.