Reid: New York Times firing 'perfect example' of need for pay equity

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) said the firing of New York Times executive editor Jill Abramson is a “perfect example” of why the Senate should address pay disparity between men and women.

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Reid said he saw reporting by The New Yorker that Abramson was ousted after she confronted the paper’s senior leadership about receiving less in pay and pension benefits than her predecessor, Bill Keller.

She also received less money as managing editor than a male colleague who served as deputy managing editor, according to the New Yorker.

“The stories are out today that she raised questions about … being paid less for doing the same job that the second in command was and certainly, now, her predecessor got a lot more money than she got,” Reid said. “It’s a perfect example, if it’s true, why we should pass paycheck equity.”

The report said Abramson “confronted the top brass” about the disparity and had a lawyer make inquiries into the matter.

The magazine also reported, however, that "Abramson had also been at the Times for far fewer years than Keller, having spent much of her career at The Wall Street Journal, accounting for some of the pension disparity." Times management also reportedly was in a process of "retreat on some of its generous pay."

Senate Democrats have made pay equity a plank of their 2014 campaign platform. Senate Republicans earlier this year blocked the Paycheck Fairness Act, sponsored by Sen. Barbara Mikulski (D-Md.), which would have protected female employees against retaliation if they inquired about the salaries of male coworkers.

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