Washington Gadfly

EXCLUSIVE: NY Times Settles Humongous Discrimination Lawsuit

REUTERS/Lucas Jackson

Evan Gahr Investigative Journalist
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The New York Times should change its famous motto to “all the blacks and women fit to fire.”

It apparently does not value diversity and is waging a war on women.

The Times has quietly settled, possibly for money,  an ex-advertising executive’s  discrimination claim  that it previously deemed “malicious” and false.

What happened to the “vigorous defense” that the mighty liberal broadsheet vowed to mount against Tracy Quitasol’s federal complaint?

In December, about one month after court-ordered mediation, both sides agreed to have the lawsuit dismissed with prejudice, meaning it can’t be refiled. The settlement is apparently confidential.

But legal experts say this quick resolution indicates that the Times likely paid to deep-six the embarrassing case, which the New York Post prominently covered after it was first exposed here.

“They likely paid her,” says employment lawyer David Wimms.

Asian-American Tracy Quitasol asserted that she was fired by Meredith Levien, now the chief revenue officer, after complaining about a male underling’s sexist and insubordinate behavior.

Programmer Fergal Carr gave a non-denial denial when asked about Quitasol’s allegations last August, saying he was “not worried” about the allegations.

Carr, who is not related to the late New York Times columnist David Carr, remains at the paper.

Quitasol, a 51-year-old Asian-American, also charged that Levien, shortly after she arrived at the paper in 2013, systematically purged older and mostly minority advertising employees. She allegedly told other managers that, “We want [our] people to look like the people we are selling to.”

Almost all the employees forced out were replaced by “a white employee under the age of 40,” her lawsuit says.

Are the charges of insufficient diversity accurate?

The New York Times, which castigates everybody from Silicon Valley to the television industry for insufficient “diversity,” refuses to provide any information about the racial make-up of its own workforce.

When this reporter asked spokeswoman Eileen Murphy for numbers about its own work force to prove the Times insistence in legal papers that no racial purge occurred she refused. “We do not intend to litigate the details of the case in the press.”

Meanwhile, the Times was just socked with another discrimination lawsuit, also by a female executive.

[dcquiz] Arielle Davies, 33, former director of advertising projects, was laid off on maternity leave, after clashing with other managers who insisted she take less than the promised four months.

Joshua Parkhurst, her lawyer, told this reporter that the bosses with whom she clashed ultimately answered to Meredith Levien. He expects to depose the Times honcho if the case proceeds to discovery.

Parkhurst said that any confidentiality agreement Quitasol signed could be voided if a judge rules she has information relevant to his case.