Age Discrimination in the Newspaper Business
Alas, it seems that my own industry may not be insulated from discrimination against reporters and editors over 50. Two former editors at the
– Philadelphia Cincinnati Enquirer have filed a lawsuit against the paper charging that lay-offs were targeted at employees over 50. Read the full story in City Beat here. (Apologies for mentioning the wrong paper.)
“As The Enquirer staff braces for another reduction in staff, the paper and its parent company might not yet have seen the full fallout of its decision to cut staff last year. Two of the newspaper’s former editors, Joe Fenton and Cathy Ruetter, have filed an age discrimination lawsuit against the newspaper and The Gannett Co. that soon could snowball into a much larger legal action.
According to Fenton and Reutter’s attorney, Brian Gillian, the case is headed back to court this week where he will seek a motion for leave to amend.
“I would anticipate that there will end up being at least three and perhaps as many as four or five additional plaintiffs added to the case,” he says.
Gillian declined to comment further, adding only that the original complaint spells out his clients’ case “very clearly.”
In both cases, according to the original complaint, the plaintiffs — along with several other individuals The Enquirer laid off in February 2011 — were targeted because of their seniority. All were nearly 50 years old or older, while younger staffers — some who had been hired long after those let go — were kept on. In some cases, the newspaper ended up hiring younger people to assume their jobs, the complaint states.”