Gannett has asked a federal court to dismiss a class action suit filed against it by employees who claim they were discriminated against because they were not minorities.
The suit, filed last August by Steven Bradley, Stephen Crane, Noah Hiles, Barbara Augsdorfer and Logan Barry, is seen as a roadblock in Gannett’s effort to diversify its staff.
Gannett argues that the individual race discrimination claims in the suit are “nothing but speculation and conclusory allegations and/or complain about non-actionable conduct such as performance evaluations and/or a voluntary resignation.” In addition, the allegations are “conclusory and deficient.”
“As former employees, Plaintiffs lack standing to seek injunctive relief regarding any Gannett policy. Steven Bradley also lacks standing because he waived claims against Gannett in a separation agreement. Barbara Augsdorfer also openly discussed her 'Hispanic' heritage, so she lacks standing to represent any class of 'non-minorities.'”
Gannett adds that “employment decisions made by multiple managers at local newspapers throughout the country are not suitable for class certification.”
Bradley, a sportswriter, claims he was terminated based on race. He alleges that “the Democrat and Chronicle’s executive editor commented that he decided to terminate Mr. Bradley’s employment rather than another worker, Mark Liu, because Mr. Liu was Asian and Mr. Bradley was White.”
In addition, the complaint charges that “Gannett chose not to hire Bradley on the basis of his race and instead went outside the applicant pool and hand selected a candidate that, irrespective of her qualifications, satisfied the quotas Gannett was seeking to achieve,” the complaint continues.