Two additional on-air personalities for NY1 have come forward with claims they faced age discrimination — with one saying she was fired from the station during her third trimester of pregnancy after she complained.
Reporters Thalia Perez and Michelle Greenstein have filed a Manhattan federal court suit alleging that they were discriminated against because they were either pregnant or, as in Greenstein’s case, had just returned from maternity leave to find that reporting slots were being given to women who do not have children.
Their suit comes just weeks after NY1 personalities Roma Torre, Kristen Shaughnessy, Jeanine Ramirez, Vivian Lee and Amanda Farinacci also filed suit in Manhattan federal court. They had claimed that since Charter Communications took the station over in 2016 they have been passed over for on-air opportunities in favor of younger and less experienced journalists.
Perez and Greenstein say that they were inspired by the previous lawsuit — which is separate from their suit — to come forward and challenge NY1’s brass.
“As a new mother, being told that my decision to have children would render me disposable to NY1 was extremely demoralizing,” Greenstein said in a news release. “I had previously feared retribution for speaking up about this, but seeing the five current anchors share similar stories of gender and age discrimination, it gave me the strength and motivation to come forward with my experience.”
Perez alleges in the suit that as soon as Melissa Rabinovich, NY1’s assistant news director, discovered that Perez was pregnant, she cut Perez’s anchoring opportunities from “Local Edition”
“In total, Ms. Rabinovich constantly made Ms. Perez feel as though she were a blemish in the newsroom who was simply not wanted,” the lawsuit states.
Greenstein alleges that after she gave birth to her child in 2017 that she was asked to return from maternity leave after just five weeks — and says that Rabinovich cited Greenstein’s status as a new mom as reasoning for passing her over for a full-time traffic reporter position.
“I did not think you could handle the flexibility of hours because you’re a new mom and you have a lot going on,” Rabinovich allegedly told Greenstein, according to the suit. The suit did not say how old either woman was.
Maureen Huff, a spokeswoman for Charter, said that while the company takes the plaintiffs’ allegations “seriously,” their claims have “no merit.”
“These two women only provided fill-in work,” her statement reads. “A few years ago, we decided to employ more full-time on-air employees. At that time, we no longer had a need to call them for shifts. Our records show that neither Michelle nor Thalia applied for any open position.”