Five high profile news presenters are suing their employer for age and sex discrimination.
The women claim management treated them “like second-class citizens” because of their age.
The group is taking legal action against news channel New York 1.
They say managers intentionally forced them off air and subsequently replaced with younger presenters.
Additionally, the women claim their employer “reduced their airtime and anchoring slots, excluded them from promotional campaigns and consistently ignored their concerns”.
Youngest complainant is just 40 years-old
Among the group is 40 year-old, three-time Emmy nominee, Amanda Farinacci, who has 20-years of experience in news.
Joining the legal action is 61-year-old Roma Torre, 50-year-old Kristen Shaughnessy, 49-year-old Janine Ramirez, and 44-year-old Vivian Lee
Together, the women have more than 100 years of collective experience as anchors and reporters between them.
In an open letter released by their high profile employment lawyer Douglas Wigdor, the women said:
“ We cannot and will not sit idly by while we are cast aside and our complaints of mistreatment are ignored.
“While we have poured our hearts and souls into our work, our respective careers have recently taken a sharp decline as we have been confronted with the stark reality of gender discrimination and ageism.
“This is hardly a new phenomenon in the news media, and we are not alone.”
Furthermore, the five say they are fighting for:
“…any woman who has reached a certain age and has been intentionally marginalised, passed-over and deemed less relevant because of her age”.
They additionally note the television industry’s double standard allowing men to enjoy decades-long careers, while forcing out females.
Allegations have no merit
However, the owners of the news channel say more than half of its NY1 on-air talent is over 40.
In a statement, they said:
“We take these allegations seriously, and as we complete our thorough review, we have not found any merit to them. NY1 is a respectful and fair workplace, and we’re committed to providing a work environment in which all our employees are valued and empowered.”
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No place for ageism and sexism
Industrial advocate Miles Heffernan said there is no place for age or sex discrimination in today’s workplace.
“Here in Australia, we have an ageing population, so people will be working longer, and businesses will need to keep hiring workers after they hit 40 years of age,” he said.
“Older workers bring a wealth of experience and knowledge to a business, so therefore, bosses must do all they can to hang on to such a valuable human resource.”
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