Union Accuses New York Times Of Systemic Racism In Performance Reviews

The New York Times is being accused of treating its white employees more favorably than non-white employees, according to a lengthy report issued by a labor union representing the paper’s reporters and employees which argues that the left-wing newspaper needs to grapple with systemic racism within its own ranks.

The Times Guild’s report, which was released on Tuesday, argues that the New York Times has been discriminating against employees of color for years. Not a single black employee received the highest performance review rating in 2020, while white employees made up 90% of those with top marks. Black employees make up 10% of the union’s membership, but made up nearly 18% of the “partially meets expectations” ratings issued by management.

“Guild members who believed their contributions weren’t fairly rated in the review process have said they feel demoralized and alienated—a pernicious outcome as the Times attempts to recruit and retain a diverse workforce,” the report stated. “Management has denied the discrepancies in the performance ratings for nearly two years it could have instead spent trying to make the system better for everyone.”

The union also noted that lower performance reviews have real-world consequences for the employees, as they lead to meager bonuses and lost promotions.

Multiple minority staffers who spoke with the union for its report stated that they had found the review process “confusing and frustrating.”

One minority staff member revealed that he had left the New York Times following a poor performance review, which wasn’t consistent with the fact that he had previously earned verbal praise from management.

The union’s report is an inside look at the tensions faced by left-wing media outlets as their staff turns increasingly hostile toward management practices.

The allegations against the New York Times are especially significant considering the paper’s practice of publishing accusatory articles alleging racist practices in virtually every corner of the country. The left-wing newspaper appears to revel in reporting on others’ alleged racism while being completely unconcerned about taking part in the same kind of discriminatory practices for which it criticizes others.

Conservatives, including former President Donald Trump, and even historians have called out the New York Times for one of its most famous attempts to push their obsession with racism: the “1619 Project.” The ”1619 Project” was an attempt to reframe American history and the founding of the United States through the lens of critical race theory, arguing that the true founding of the country occurred when the first slave ship arrived on U.S. shores in 1619, rather than when the Declaration of Independence was signed in 1776. While the Times alleged that the essence of America was built on racism, they apparently couldn’t even see it within their own ranks.

News outlets such as the New York Times depend on a younger, more outwardly leftist workforce in order to maintain an advantage over their competitors. Unfortunately for the newspaper, that dynamic often causes generational feuds between the older, more seasoned employees and the younger staff who tend to grow bolder as time goes on regarding demands for higher pay, more editorial freedom and stricter diversity criteria.

The New York Times did not respond to a request for comment from the Washington Free Beacon.

Ben Casselman, an economics reporter at the New York Times, told management in June that he had run his own independent analysis and concluded that the paper was engaging in discriminatory behavior. According to the union report, Casselman had stated in a meeting with management that he was “begging” them to see the results.

“It’s deeply troubling to me, and I hope it’s deeply troubling to you,” Casselman said during the meeting.

The Times union report goes on to criticize the newspaper for hiring law firm Seyfarth Shaw to analyze its diversity practices and find whether any evidence of discrimination existed. According to the report, the law firm in question had previously received negative attention after representing the Weinstein Company after it was hit with allegations of sexual misconduct.

Statisticians and academics who spoke with the union stated that Seyfarth Shaw’s analysis of the New York Times’ diversity practices, which found no evidence of a “systemic [racism] problem” was flawed. Some of those experts went on to allege that the newspaper had engaged in an effort to “avoid detecting any evidence of bias.”

One statistician argued that the methodology was “so dumb” and “so stupid as to border on negligence.”

Richard Tonowski — former chief psychologist at the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, a federal agency centered around administering and enforcing civil rights laws against workplace discrimination — agreed with the union’s conclusion that asserted the New York Times‘ method of measuring workplace performance is flawed.

“It is not clear whether the racial imbalance is a result of problems in the performance review system itself or whether that system is simply revealing barriers to success for employees of color at the company,” the commission report stated.

The Times union’s independent analysis revealed that black employees were 47.2% less likely than a white employee to receive a high rating in 2021. The bias was reportedly even more significant against Hispanics, who were 61.2% less likely than whites to receive a high rating.

The union noted that the New York Times has denied any evidence of problematic racial discrepancies — pointing out that the paper’s senior vice president for talent management even claimed that black and Hispanic employees were actually overrepresented in the “‘meets all expectations’ rating.”

“If our recently hired Black and brown colleagues are disproportionately receiving low performance ratings, that suggests that the Times is not doing an effective job making our workplace a welcoming and nurturing environment for all employees—something we have heard anecdotally from many current and former colleagues, some of whom left the company for this exact reason,” the report stated.