Radio Host Jami Floyd’s Pay Discrimination Claim Under NY Labor Law 194 Survives Dismissal

In Floyd v. New York Public Radio, 23-cv-1096 (ALC), 2024 WL 1407058 (S.D.N.Y. April 2, 2024), the court, inter alia, denied defendant’s motion to dismiss plaintiff’s claim of Pay Inequality under New York Labor Law § 194.

The court summarized the black-letter law as follows:

To establish an equal pay violation of the New York Labor Law § 194, a plaintiff must show that (1) the employer pays different wages to employees [outside the protected class]; (2) the employees perform equal work on jobs requiring equal skill, effort, and responsibility; and (3) the jobs are performed under similar working conditions. A plaintiff “need not demonstrate that [his] job is identical to a higher paid position, but only must show that the two positions are substantially equal in skill, effort, and responsibility. [Citation and internal quotation marks omitted.]


Plaintiff has sufficiently pleaded the following facts to support a plausible inference of pay inequality: Floyd was earning between approximately $160,000 and $176,000 for hosting All Things Considered on the air for 4 hours per day (plus pre-tape time) – among other duties, including, for example, reporting from the field, serving as the legal analyst supporting all WNYC’s programming and representing NYPR at off-site fundraising events – and yet was making about the same or less than staff who supported the Brian Lehrer Show; after her purported promotion to “Legal Editor” and the Race & Justice Unit in 2020, Floyd’s compensation decreased; Floyd and other Black employees were provided no additional compensation for serving on its “Black Editorial Committee” in 2019 though it required monitoring WNYC’s use of the n-word on air at all hours of the day and night; and Floyd’s white male counterparts were provided large staffs and budgets on less demanding shows. Floyd also maintains that NYPR has facts exclusively within its possession concerning the compensation paid to other employees with whom she compares herself, and thus, discovery is needed as to the compensation paid to those comparators. See Edelman v. NYU Langone Health Sys., 2022 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 176681, at *45-47 (S.D.N.Y. 2022) (analysis of pay discrimination with respect to comparators is fact-based inquiry). [Citations and internal quotation marks omitted.]

It concluded by noting “that while Plaintiff has, at minimum, alleged facts sufficient to support an inference of race-based pay discrimination, more evidence is needed to fully ascertain how Plaintiffs’ counterparts and employees similarly situated to Plaintiff were compensated.”

Share This: