Former KPIX San Francisco reporter Bill Schechner has filed an age and gender discrimination suit against KPIX, which laid him and 13 others off in late March. The suit was filed today in San Francisco Superior Court.
“The criteria KPIX used to accomplish its downsizing discriminated against its older employees,” said his attorney, John McGuinn, of McGuinn, Hillsman & Palefsky. “Out of 240 employees, 14 were let go whose average is 51.9. The remaining 226 employees’ average age is 43.9. The statistical likelihood that there could be such a disparity in age, if age were not a factor in KPIX’s decision, is less than 1/3 of 1%.”
McGuinn also points out that all five of the dismissed on-air staff were men, and that they averaged 55 years of age.
A KPIX spokesperson says the “claims have no merit and we look forward to vigorously representing ourselves.”
Schechner spent 20 years at KPIX and used to be an anchor and correspondent for NBC News. He says he misses his time at the station. “The injustice is they illegally took my job,” he says. “I want to go back to work.”
John Lobertini, who was also laid off that day in March, is also suing the station. He is 48.