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LA Times Union Prepping to Sue over Pay Gaps
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Photo courtesy of the LA Times Guild.

Summary: The Los Angeles Times staff may sue its publisher over “illegal pay disparities.”

Famed newspaper, The Los Angeles Times, is now a part of its story. According to The Huffington Post, the publication’s union may file a lawsuit against its employer to address “illegal pay disparities” between women and minorities.

  
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A class-action lawsuit is a backup plan, the union said, but they are ready to file if the newspaper’s leadership refuses to meet with them.

“We are preparing a class action lawsuit, as a second option, with assistance from the law firm that also represents the Guild. The potential class action would be filed by a named plaintiff or plaintiffs in coordination with the Guild’s efforts to get the company to negotiate a timely and satisfactory agreement to address pay disparities. We will provide more information as this process develops,” the Union stated on Friday.

The Los Angeles Times unionized in January, and their guild officers and bargaining committee want to address the pay disparities of the group’s individual members. Last week, the union released data of the newsroom’s pay structure, and it showed that women and journalists of color were given thousands of dollars less a year than white male counterparts.

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“Among unionized journalists at The Times of all ages and job titles, women and people of color make less than white men. On average, women of color in the Los Angeles Times’ bargaining unit make less than 70 cents for every dollar earned by a white man,” the union said.

Data courtesy of LA Times Guild.



A newsroom source told the Huffington Post that staff members were “angry” upon hearing the pay disparity news, and the union wanted to meet with the newspaper’s owners to discuss a solution. The newspaper is going through a possible change of ownership, however, from Tronc to billionaire Patrick Soon-Shiong, but a Union rep told Huffington Post that a sale was not an excuse to not discuss pay gaps.

“If the Employer believes its authority to negotiate over this issue may be limited because of the impending sale, we stand ready to discuss such limitations when we meet,” Times Deputy Managing Editor Colin Crawford said.

A spokesperson from Tronc said that the company strives to treat its employees equally.

“We at the Los Angeles Times strive to pay our employees fairly and competitively in the context of our dynamic media business. Many legitimate factors weigh into the salaries for our professional journalists, who each bring individualized talents, experiences and contributions to our news operations. We plan to evaluate the Guild’s assessment of generalized pay differences in light of the realities of our news operation,” Tronc said.

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