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Woman accuses newspaper of gender discrimination

It's not uncommon for reporters or columnists at newspapers to have secondary sources of income. In an industry not known for its high-paying positions, many choose to write books, engage in speaking appearances, or pursue a different line of work to supplement their income. Many writers even complete freelance assignments for other publications while under contract with a newspaper or magazine.

This is all generally accepted in the industry, which is why one young lifestyle reporter was shocked when her bosses let her know that her side job as an exotic dancer was unacceptable. The official reason given for her termination was that she did not properly disclose her part time independent contractor status. The woman says that the form she filled out when she began her job did not request information on this type of employment, so she left it off.

She says that her work as a dancer did not have any effect on her ability to do her job at the newspaper. In fact, she says that she did well as a lifestyle reporter and was under the impression that she was in good standing with her employer prior to their discovery that she was also dancing.

If true, her allegations strongly support a claim of gender discrimination. Discrimination may be found even in cases where the reason given for the termination was not gender. Discrimination can also exist in cases where a certain policy disproportionately affects one group more than another. In this situation, since a majority of exotic dancers are female, the policy not to hire people with that employment history may result in discrimination against female applicants.

Source: CNN, "Reporter, fired for stripping, charges gender discrimination," Alan Duke, May 11, 2012.

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