NEW YORK, N.Y. – Two women who work in the advertising department at The New York Times have filed a federal discrimination lawsuit against the newspaper, its chief executive and chief revenue officer.
The Times reported that in a lawsuit filed Thursday in federal court in Manhattan, account managers Ernestine Grant and Marjorie Walker claim the workplace is “rife with discrimination based on age, race and gender.”
“Unbeknownst to the world at large, not only does The Times have an ideal customer (young, white, wealthy), but also an ideal staffer (young, white, unencumbered with a family) to draw that purported ideal customer,” the lawsuit said.
Both women are black and in their 60s. Grant has been with the paper for 16 years and Walker for eight years, the Times said.
The lawsuit contends that when Meredith Levien, now the company’s executive vice-president and chief revenue officer, joined the Times in 2013, she “made it very clear that she was looking for a very particular work force, one that was filled with ‘fresh faces,’ i.e., younger employees without families, and who were white.”
The suit says the plaintiffs “have experienced discrimination and were retaliated against, when they complained about such discrimination.”
Times spokeswoman Eileen Murphy called the suit “entirely without merit.” She said the company intends to “fight it vigorously in court.”
“This lawsuit contains a series of recycled, scurrilous and unjustified attacks on both (president & CEO) Mark Thompson and Meredith Levien. It also completely distorts the realities of the work environment at The New York Times,” Murphy said.