The San Diego Reader is being sued by three of its own former sales representatives who are alleging gender discrimination, sexual harassment and wrongful termination. The alternative weekly newspaper San Diego CityBeat reported on November 8, 2011, that Kelly Bonelli, Amy McKibben and Beth Wexler have nearly four decades of combined work history with the Reader, the largest alternative press paper in San Diego. The three women allege in their lawsuit that the hiring of sales manager John-Paul Franklin in 2008 intensified “preferential treatment for men in the workplace” that the suit says publisher Jim Holman is responsible for allowing.
According to CityBeat, the women allege the Reader did not have a Human Resources department capable of handling discrimination or harassment complaints, and obtained a right-to-sue letter from the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing. Wexler worked for the Reader for more than 30 years, Bonelli was a 26-year employee and McKibben was a 16-year employee. The women’s employment discrimination suit alleges “men were seen as superior and were given unfair advantages such as preferred leads and ‘head starts’ on new sales promotions.” Franklin’s alleged conduct includes “telling women sales is a ‘man’s world,’ withholding new sales promotions from women until after a man or men had been able to sell the new offer to one of their clients, and displaying favoritism toward men when re-assigning accounts.”
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