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Actress Sues Media Company For Discrimination, Citing Racial And Gender Differences In Pay


Every year, the National Committee on Pay Equity observes Equal Pay Day to highlight the pay gap that still exists between men and women; similar observances exist in several countries.  In the United States, non-Hispanic White Men have the highest average income.  When comparing the average income of women in the U.S. workforce, regardless of race, women earn 81 cents for every dollar a White man earns, which means that, if a man and a woman both started the same job on January 1, 2018, the man would earn by December 31, 2018 what the woman earned by March 15, 2019.  Black women get paid, on average, 61 percent of White men’s earnings, so Equal Pay Day for Black women in 2019 was August 22.  This is true in the highest paid professions as well as low wage work.  A Black woman cited this statistic in a lawsuit against a major media company; most Americans would jump for joy if offered $500,000 for a few months of work, but this amount was chump change compared to the millions that the company offered the plaintiff’s counterparts from other demographic groups earned.  She claims that her experience is just one incident in the long history of pay discrimination against Black women in the entertainment industry.  A Los Angeles retaliation lawyer can help you if, like what happened to this plaintiff, a prospective employer walked away from the negotiating table when you asked for fair pay.

Comedian Alleges Discrimination and Retaliation

The plaintiff in this lawsuit is an African American woman whose entertainment career includes standup comedy and film and television roles, some of which yielded her national awards.  In 2018, a major media company offered her $500,000 to film a comedy special, to which the company would retain all the rights.  The plaintiff cited other comedians who had received much more money for similar comedy specials; she mentioned a White woman who got 22 times as much money as the company offered the plaintiff (but only after she negotiated, as the original offer was lower) and men of various racial backgrounds who received 40 times the amount of the plaintiff’s offer.

Instead of coming back with a higher offer, the company walked away from negotiations.  In November 2019, the plaintiff filed a lawsuit in Los Angeles County, claiming racial discrimination, sex discrimination, and retaliation.  The lawsuit contains 39 pages of details about the company’s history of pay discrimination against women in general and against Black women in particular.  It is unclear what happened next, but the parties must have eventually reached an agreement, because the comedy special eventually got made.

Speak With a Los Angeles Employer Retaliation Lawyer

A Los Angeles employer retaliation lawyer can help you if your employer retaliated against you by calling pay negotiations to a halt after offering you an employment contract.  Contact Litigation, P.C. in Los Angeles, California to discuss your situation or call (424)284-2401.


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