Multiple on-air personalities at one of New York’s most famous local TV stations are taking part in discrimination lawsuits against the company, arguing that management did not offer them certain opportunities because of their age and sex.
According to a report from the New York Post, five female anchors at NY1 – all over the age of 40 – filed a lawsuit in June. The lawsuit alleges that station management passed the anchors over for job opportunities in favor of other candidates, often younger women or less experienced men. This behavior, the anchors argue, amounts to sex and age discrimination. The women claim that this discriminatory behavior began when NY1’s parent company, Charter Communications, merged with its founding parent company, Time Warner Cable, in 2016.
In a separate lawsuit filed a few weeks later, two additional female anchors say the station discriminated against them after they became pregnant. One of the women alleges that the station fired her during her third trimester after she complained that she was being denied opportunities due to her pregnancy. The other anchor claims that when she returned to work after just five weeks of maternity leave, NY1 did not give her certain on-air opportunities because she was a mother.
Charter Communications has denied any wrongdoing, though it did say it is investigating the women’s allegations seriously.
Discrimination can happen to any employee
Of course, on-air personalities are not the only employees who face discrimination due to their sex and age. In fact, sex and age discrimination were among the five most common types of charges the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) received in 2018.
Last year, the agency received 24,655 claims alleging sex discrimination, accounting for nearly one-third of all charges. Only retaliation appeared more frequently. As for age discrimination, the EEOC received 16,911 charges, making it the fifth most common charge overall.
Discrimination can take many forms. Sometimes it is blatant, such as a direct demotion or firing based on a protected class. In other cases, the actions can be more subtle – small decisions and comments that, taken together, reveal a larger discriminatory pattern of behavior. In these scenarios, a wronged employee who wants to receive compensation and help put an end to the discriminatory behavior can consider taking legal action.
It doesn’t matter if you work at a famed local TV station or in a much less high-profile industry. Every employee has a right to be treated equally, regardless of sex or age.