They are at it again. One of New York’s most long standing papers is being accused of age discrimination and disability discrimination. In this case, a picture editor at the Daily News, David Burns, is accusing the paper of being “harassed and overlooked for promotions based on his age and health issues.”
This is not the first time the Daily News is in hot water regarding allegations of age discrimination in the workplace, and I imagine that it will not be the last. The only way to remedy the problem is to change the culture of discriminating against older workers and levying tougher penalties against the corporate forces that facilitate the discriminatory policies.
In this case, Mr. Burns, a 50-year-old New Jersey resident, specifically accuses the Daily News photo managing editor, Alexander Hitchen, of deliberately withholding reimbursements and causing Mr. Burns high anxiety and panic attacks.
Additionally, it is alleged that Mr. Hitchen passed Mr. Burns over for the position of deputy managing editor after pressuring Mr. Burns to fire 21 freelance photographers. To boot, the Complaint also claims Mr. Hitchen told Burns he failed to get the promotion because of his “age and health” and that Mr. Hitchen said this was “better for [Burns]” because “at your age, you should be concerned about your health and your family.”
Subsequently, the strain between Mr. Hitchen and Mr. Burns reached a literal boiling point, where Mr. Burns was required a stronger prescription of anti-anxiety and blood pressure medications.
If these allegations are proven to be true, the Daily News may see a monumental and expensive problem on their hands. Firstly, this does nothing good for public relations. The population of New Yorkers continues to get older and the worsening economy has taken a serious hit on them already. Secondly, Mr. Burns is the embodiment of a well-rounded worker, who people can relate to and sympathize with, something extremely helpful to the attorney presenting this case to the jury of Mr. Burn’s peers.
It looks like the Daily News needs a gut check and a forensic evaluation of their employment policies in order to prevent these public relations nightmares from continuing to happen. One could only hope.
As always, if you believe you or your family member was and/or has been discriminated against in the workplace, please do not hesitate to contact the employment discrimination attorneys at the Law Office of Risman & Risman, P.C. at (212) 233-6400 or contact us online.