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Was New York Times Editor Jill Abramson Fired for Pointing Out Gender Pay Disparity?

Posted on May 15, 2014

    Jill Abramson was the first woman to head The New York Times. Her tenure lasted from 2011 to 2014. (AP/Evan Agostini, File)

Jill Abramson was removed from her position as executive editor of The New York Times on Wednesday without warning. Now it’s been revealed by several sources, including The New Yorker, that Abramson had recently complained she was being paid significantly less than her Y-chromosome carrying predecessor, which some believe may have led to her dismissal. If misogyny played a role in her termination, the Times certainly has some explaining to do.

For those of you wondering who her replacement will be, it’s the newspaper’s former managing editor, Dean Baquet, who, according to Slate, “will be the newspaper’s first ever black executive editor.”

Think Progress:

The full facts behind why Jill Abramson is no longer the Executive Editor of the New York Times are not yet known, although the Times itself says that Abramson was “dismissed.” Early news reports offer several legitimate reasons why she may have been fired. The Times‘s own reporting says that there were “serious tensions in her relationship with [Publisher Arthur] Sulzberger, many of them over his concerns about her management.” Meanwhile, the New Yorker‘s Ken Auletta reports that Abramson “had already clashed with the company’s C.E.O., Mark Thompson, over native advertising and the perceived intrusion of the business side into the newsroom,” and that one of Abramson’s top deputies complained to Sulzberger about a personnel issue. If Abramson was fired for being a poor manager, or because of a disagreement over the company’s advertising strategy, or for some similar matter, then those are entirely lawful reasons to let her go…

[However, if] she was, in fact, fired because she complained about gender discrimination in pay…then the Times may have violated federal civil rights law. Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 does not simply ban employment discrimination on the basis of “race, color, religion, sex, or national origin,” it also prohibits employers from retaliating against employees who complain about alleged discrimination.

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—Posted by Natasha Hakimi Zapata

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