The Washington Post is at odds with its own employees over a report alleging racial pay disparities among Post employees.
The paper’s union alleged in a report Wednesday that the Post underpays non-white employees compared to white employees, but the Post’s vice president of communication called the report “seriously flawed” in a statement to the Daily Caller News Foundation.
“Collectively, employees of color are paid less than white men, even when controlling for age and job description” among newsroom employees, according to the Post Guild’s report on its study on pay disparities at the paper.
The union wants the paper to “hire an equity, diversity and inclusion chair/consultant and form a diversity committee” in order to “hold the company accountable in creating an equitable and diverse workplace,” the statement said.
Median salaries at @washingtonpost:
White men: $117,452
Men of color: $101,575
White women: $99,640
Women of color: $86,511https://t.co/9H1hvpXGIj
— Michelle Ye Hee Lee (@myhlee) November 6, 2019
“Women as a group are paid less than men” in the newsroom, the union found, adding that “the pay disparity between men and women exists almost exclusively among employees under the age of 40.” (RELATED: Jeff Bezos Gives Washington Post’s Top Editor A Special Birthday Gift)
The union also took issue with the fact that the vast majority of merit-based raises in the newsroom allegedly went to white employees: “The Post tends to give merit raises based on performance evaluation scores, but those who score the highest are overwhelmingly white.”
“The Post is fairly consistent across races/ethnicities and genders at awarding raises to those who do well on performance evaluations,” the union stated. “But in 85 percent of instances in which a 4 or higher was awarded to a salaried newsroom employee, that employee was white. Employees are rated on a scale of 1 to 5.”
“The Post is committed to paying employees fairly for the work they perform, and we believe that we do so, taking into account relevant factors like position, years of experience, and performance. It is regrettable that the Guild published a report on pay that does not appear to accurately account for these and other relevant factors, which have nothing to do with race or gender,” Kristine Coratti Kelly, the Post’s vice president of communication, said in a statement to the DCNF.
“In fact, the Guild concedes that its study’s ‘topline numbers such as median salary by gender or race and ethnicity cannot capture the entire story of pay at The Post.’ We believe the report is seriously flawed. It is disappointing that the Guild chose to issue it — The Post told the Guild before its release that we had many questions about their methodology,” Kelly added.
This article has been updated to include Kelly’s response
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