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Women allege discrimination in case against comic book publisher

In an article previously posted on our firm’s website we discussed a study the results of which indicated that favoritism toward others in their “ingroup,” not hostility over differences, has more to do with workplace discrimination occurring. Multiple factors may contribute to the formation of an ingroup including occupation, neighborhood, gender or race. On the other end of the spectrum, an “outgroup” usually consists of people with whom someone has difficulty identifying with.

This may have had something to do with a case currently pending against the comic book publisher, Archie Comic Publications, Inc., based in the state of New York. Three women who worked for the comic book company recently filed a lawsuit against the publisher alleging gender discrimination and sexual harassment. The women, who all worked for a female co-CEO, claimed that was a reason that they were retaliated against and targeted by male superiors.

The woman who they worked for was herself sued for harassment, by several of the publisher’s executives who were men. At least two of the women who filed the recent lawsuit believe the fact that they worked directly for her resulted in them being ostracized in the workplace and forced to sign in and out when they arrived and left. They claim other employees were not subjected to this. While one of the women quit her job when the behavior she was subjected to became too much, the other two were fired for insubordination.

Under the study discussed in the previous article, one may surmise that any discrimination the women felt they were subjected to was not because male executives felt hostility toward them but rather because they could not identify with them and favored others with whom they did identify.

Regardless of what the catalyst for workplace discrimination is, it is prohibited under New York law. Anyone who feels that they are on the receiving end of it at their job may be able to pursue a legal case against those responsible for it. How these women’s claims against the publisher will be resolved remains to be seen.

Source: New York Daily News, “Archie comics hit with gender discrimination suit,” Dareh Gregorian, Aug. 24, 2014

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