Former San Diego news anchor sues her old TV station for $10 MILLION after finding out she made $90,000 less than her male co-anchor
- Former California news anchor is accusing her previous TV station of paying her $90,000 less per year than her male co-anchor
- Sandra Maas, 60, says San Diego’s KUSI – where she worked for 18 years – violated California’s Equal Pay Act by paying her coworker Allen Denton more than her
- Maas is seeking unspecified damages, but at the time the suit was initially filed she asked for $10 million
A former California TV news anchor is suing the outlet she worked for, claiming she made significantly less than her male co-anchor, in violation of the law.
Sandra Maas has filed a lawsuit in San Diego alleging that KUSI paid her $90,000 a year less than her co-anchor Allen Denton, who she worked with for years.
‘It’s humiliating to share everything that happened to me but I’m hoping to make a difference for other women in the workplace,’ Maas told CBS 8 San Diego.
Maas originally filed the lawsuit in 2019, just a week after departing KUSI.
Lawyers for the woman allege the station violated California’s Equal Pay Act which forbids pay inequality for employees who do ‘substantially similar work.’
Sandra Maas (left) claims San Diego’s KUSI news paid her nearly $100,000 less than her male co-anchor Allen Denton
Maas, seen here outside the courthouse, originally sought $10 million in damages
Maas is suing the McKinnon Broadcasting Co., KUSI’s operator, for unspecified damages for past and future lost wages, past and future mental and emotional distress as well as punitive damages.
At the time of the initial filing, however, Maas asked for $10 million.
Maas and her attorney, Josh Gruenberg, allege the TV station broke California labor and pay fairness laws by paying her less than Denton.
‘Under the Equal Pay Act, as amended effective January 1, 2019, an employer may not justify any pay difference between employees of the opposite sex, or employees of different race or ethnicity based on an employee’s prior salary,’ California’s Department of Industrial Relations states.
Denton and Maas were co-anchors of the KUSI nightly news for nearly 10 years until she left the station in 2019.
Sandra Maas and her lawyer claim KUSI violated California’s Equal Pay Act
According to the Times of San Diego, KUSI is arguing that Denton earned his $250,000 a year salary and Maas was a ‘slacker who slammed her workplace.’
‘For at least the last few years of her tenure as a KUSI news anchor, Maas was not a good team member or a dedicated journalist,’ said the KUSI trial brief.
‘She worked far fewer hours than the male anchors…. She often arrived on set just barely in time to tape news breaks and go on air live to present the nightly news, causing problems for producers, news floor staff, writers, and co-workers,’ the station’s lawyers claim.
KUSI’s lawyers did concede Maas’ on-air performance was good, however, the local paper reported.
Denton and Maas were co-anchors of the KUSI nightly news for nearly 10 years
KUSI’s defense also includes video clips lawyers say show Maas and her unprofessional moments on and off camera.
‘Her lack of preparation and true attitude toward her job will be apparent from this evidence, and some of the videos will disprove some of her sworn testimony at deposition,’ lawyers for the station said.
They claim she had outbursts and treated her coworkers disrespectfully over the years.
Lawyers also say Maas called KUSI a ‘mess of a place.’
Lawyers also say Maas called KUSI a ‘mess of a place’
Maas and Gruenberg deny those assertions and say she did the same job as her co-anchor.
‘Sandra was underpaid for doing the same job as her co-anchor for several years. We have an equal pay act in California and intend to put some teeth into it,’ Gruenberg told CBS 8.
Also included in KUSI’s planned arguments is covering Maas’ supposed dislike of former President Donald Trump.
In 2017, KUSI sent Denton to the 2017 presidential inauguration instead of Maas.
According to the Times of San Diego, the station- which skews conservative, said Maas wasn’t chosen because she told people she opposed Trump.
According to the Times of San Diego, the station- which skews conservative, said Maas wasn’t chosen because she told people she opposed Trump
It’s been a long process for Maas who filed the suit in 2019.
The anchor left after conversations regarding her pay did not bear fruit.
‘I’m relieved this day is finally here. It’s scary, it’s stressful. I feel betrayed. It has been three and a half years since I lost my job that I loved – and was devoted to – and dedicated my life to because I was fighting for equal pay,’ Maas said.
‘My client is frustrated that it’s taken so long. She’s anxious to tell her story,’ said Gruenberg.
Lawyers for the woman allege the station violated California’s Equal Pay Act which forbids pay inequality for employees who do ‘substantially similar work’
‘It’s not something new under the sun and if you don’t use your voice to try to change what’s happening when it comes to pay equality. If you’re silent, nothing’s going to change,’ Maas said
‘It’s not something new under the sun and if you don’t use your voice to try to change what’s happening when it comes to pay equality. If you’re silent, nothing’s going to change,’ Maas said.
The case is being presided over by Judge Ronald F. Frazier.
The trial officially kicks off Monday morning with jury selection.
KUSI News Director Steve Cohen said ‘no comment’ Monday morning when reached out to by DailyMail.com.
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