Sandra Guzman was fired from her job as an editor at the New York Post after complaining that a cartoon in the paper appeared to associate President Obama with a dead monkey.
Weeks after getting sacked, Guzman — who edited the paper’s Latino-focused section — is swinging back with a lengthy lawsuit that brings damning allegations against the paper and Editor-in-Chief Col Allan, the Huffington Post reports.
She blasts the Post for “unlawful employment practices and retaliation,” and fostering a hostile work environment that is discriminatory toward female and minority employees.
Among Guzman’s complaints: A remark by the paper’s Washington D.C. Bureau Chief that the paper’s “goal is to destroy Barack Obama. We don’t want him to succeed.”
As part of the 38-page complaint, Guzman paints the Post newsroom as a male-dominated frat house and Allan in particular as sexist, offensive and domineering. Guzman alleges that she and others were routinely subjugated to misogynistic behaviour. She says that hiring practices at the paper — as well as her firing — were driven by racial prejudices rather than merit.
Guzman’s charges are humiliating: She claims Allan once opened his BlackBerry and showed her a lewd picture of a naked man; that he brought two Australian political leaders to the Manhattan strip club Scores; that he “approached a female employee during a party at the Post” and rubbed himself against her, making sexually suggestive comments about her body, causing her to “feel extremely uncomfortable and fearing to be alone with him.”
There’ s a lot more where that came from, and with the blogosphere abuzz, the Post has some damage control to do.
According to the HuffPost, the paper’s spokesperson says the lawsuit has no merit and that Guzman was let go when Tempo, the monthly in-paper insert for Latino readers, was scrapped due to declining ad sales; Guzman says she’s standing up to discrimination.
The ensuing hubbub over February’s controversial cartoon by Sean Delonas resulted in an apology from Post owner Rupert Murdoch.
Here’s the complaint: