Vice Media is having a rough couple of months.
An exposé in the New York Times late last December alleged widespread harassment and sexual misconduct at the media giant, placing Vice on the ever-growing list of toxic work environments for female employees.
And if a recent lawsuit filed against the company is any indication, Vice’s troubles are far from over.
Yesterday, Elizabeth Rose, a former female employee of Vice, filed a lawsuit alleging that Vice discriminates against female employees when it comes to compensation. Worse, according to the suit, the company does so intentionally.
Rose worked for Vice from 2014 to 2016 as a channel manager and project manager for Vice Media. As part of her job, Rose regularly received memos that showed the salaries of roughly 35 Vice Media employees; in these memos, the suit claims, there was a clear pattern of pay disparity. Women “made far less than male employees for the same or substantially similar work.”
The suit was spurred in part when Rose learned that one of her subordinates – a man she had hired – made about $25,000 more per year than she did; moreover, the man was eventually promoted to the role of Rose’s supervisor.
When Rose asked a male Vice Media executive for an explanation, the executive told Rose that the man she’d hired and supervised was a “good personality fit” for male clients.
Rose’s lawsuit alleges that Vice Media intentionally violated state laws in New York and California regarding equal pay as well as the federal Equal Pay Act. The suit also requests class-action certification, which would allow multiple employees affected by this systematic inequality to seek damages.
In a statement, Vice Media said “we have made a significant commitment to a respectful, inclusive and equal workplace. That commitment includes a pay parity audit started last year, a goal of 50/50 female/male representation at every level by 2020, and the formation of a Diversity & Inclusion Advisory Board.”
[via Los Angeles Times]