NY1, New York’s all-news station, is now facing its eighth lawsuit from a female employee in two years. Despite the company’s assertions that they take a zero-tolerance approach to harassment and discrimination, their track record for quashing that kind of activity isn’t looking very good.
The newest claim comes from a 30-year veteran producer, who says that she was privy to comments by studio executives who talked about replacing one anchor because she “looked too old for the show’s aesthetic.” She’s among several women who say that they were shuffled aside in favor of younger replacements who fit the studio’s ideals as far as youth and appearances.
That’s not the only problem alleged at NY1, however. Other female journalists have filed lawsuits alleging that they suffered blatant pregnancy discrimination by the station’s executives. One woman complained to station officials that she was being denied job opportunities because of her pregnancy and was promptly fired. Another was fired right after a supervisor openly questioned whether motherhood would make her unable to handle her job.
These kinds of lawsuits are a reminder that — even in this day and age — women often face hurdles in the workforce based on sexist biases and outdated notions of how they should look and what they are capable of doing. Some executives think that women are only valuable as long as they have “looks” and aren’t showing their age. Nobody would ever think to ask a man if his fatherhood would make him unfit for work, but women are subjected to that kind of question all the time.
Gender, pregnancy and age discrimination in the workplace are never acceptable. If you’ve been mistreated by your employers because you don’t fit their aesthetic, find out what it takes to hold them accountable.