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Harry Reid says NYT firing of Abramson shows need for pay equality legislation

- The Washington Times - Thursday, May 15, 2014

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid took former New York Times Executive Editor Jill Abramson's case to the Senate floor Thursday, saying her firing is a reason why Congress should pass Democrats' Paycheck Fairness Act, which would give people more avenues to sue over perceived pay discrimination.

"What kind of example are we setting here when a woman who does the same work as a man doesn't get the same amount of money?" Mr. Reid, a Nevada Democrat, said.

The Times announced Ms. Abramson's firing Wednesday, with the New Yorker reporting a chief reason was that she inquired about her compensation, which she believed was less than her predecessor's in both the executive editor job and her previous post as managing editor.

Times Publisher Arthur Sulzberger Jr., in a memo reported by the New Yorker on Thursday, pushed back against that explanation, saying her compensation was "comparable to that of earlier executive editors."

Mr. Reid, citing the reports of a disparity, took the the Senate floor Thursday afternoon, frustrated after seeing the GOP filibuster a tax-cuts bill and accuse him of dictatorial behavior.

He said Republican filibusters have halted a number of things Democrats want to get done, including the Paycheck Fairness Act, which would shift more of the burden of proof to companies when they are challenged on pay equity questions.

"That's why my daughter should make as much money as a man who does the same work as she does," he said.

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