Posted on August 22, 2023

Lawsuit Says Gannett Discriminates Against White Workers to Meet Diversity Goals

Daniel Wiessner, Reuters, August 22, 2023

Gannett Co Inc (GCI.N), the largest U.S. newspaper publisher, is facing a lawsuit claiming its efforts to diversify newsrooms led to discrimination against white workers.

The proposed class action was filed in Virginia federal court on Friday by five current and former Gannett employees who say they were fired or passed over for promotions to make room for less-qualified women and minorities.

The plaintiffs say those decisions were driven by a policy announced in 2020 under which Gannett aims to have its newsrooms reflect the demographics of the communities they cover by 2025.

Gannett has also tied executive bonuses and promotions to success meeting the goals outlined in the policy, according to the lawsuit.


The lawsuit comes amid growing backlash to increasingly prevalent corporate diversity policies. Unlike other pending cases brought by conservative groups, the claims against Gannett were filed directly by the company’s employees.


In the lawsuit, plaintiff Steven Bradley says he was fired from a management job at the Democrat and Chronicle newspaper in Rochester, New York, and then passed over for a different position with Gannett because he is white.


Another plaintiff, Logan Barry, says he was in line for promotion to a leadership position at the Progress-Index in Petersburg, Virginia. After Gannett acquired the newspaper in 2019, the job went to a Black woman with fewer qualifications, according to the lawsuit.