Seven Suburban Reporters Sue ‘Philly Inky’ for Age, Gender Discrimination

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(AP) Seven female reporters at The Philadelphia Inquirer sued the newspaper’s parent company alleging that they were passed over for promotions because of their age and gender.

The women, all over age 40, write for a weekly section of the newspaper containing community news about Philadelphia’s suburbs. Writers for the section, called “Neighbors,” are paid less than other journalists at the paper.

In a lawsuit filed Wednesday in U.S. District Court in Philadelphia, the women said they had each applied for better-paying, more prestigious jobs at the Inquirer during a staff reorganization in 2002. Each was turned down in favor of a man or younger woman, the lawsuit said.

The women are seeking promotions, back pay, and damages from Philadelphia Newspapers Inc., which publishes the Inquirer and The Philadelphia Daily News.

Joe Natoli, chairman and publisher of Philadelphia Newspapers, said the discrimination charges are false.

“It has been PNI’s position since these individuals first brought these charges that the claims are meritless. PNI has not discriminated or retaliated against any of these individuals,” he said in a written statement.

The plaintiffs are Janet Hefler Cicchini, Louise Harbach, Gloria Hoffner, Mary Anne Janco, Cynthia McGroarty, Mary Catherine Quillman, and Susan Weidener. Most have been with the paper since the 1980s.

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