Detroit Free Press journalists break silence on equal pay lawsuit

Posted at 9:52 PM, Oct 16, 2017
and last updated 2017-10-16 21:52:46-04

"To find out we’ve been paid less all this time was really shocking and disappointing," said Kathleen Galligan, photojournalist with the Detroit Free Press. 

Galligan and Regina Boone are two of four female journalists filing an equal pay lawsuit that alleges males at the newspaper are unfairly getting paid more than females in the same positions with the same seniority. 

Both spoke to Channel 7 today about why they've chosen to file a lawsuit.

All of it, they say, is based on a study published earlier this year by Detroit's newspaper guild that analyzed data from the publication regarding male and female employment.

"This basically made us see our speculation was correct and it hurts," said Boone.  

Galligan is a twice Emmy winning photographer who’s been at the free press for 15 years. 

Boone is also an Emmy winner who was at the paper for about 15 years -- and is behind the nationally acclaimed picture of a flint child, on the cover of Time Magazine. 

"I’m always fighting for what’s right. And if I didn’t stand up for this, I shouldn’t be in this business shedding light on wrongs in our society," said Boone of her decision to speak out. 

The two other female plaintiffs on the suit are nationally recognized journalists, Mary Schroeder and Rose Ann McKean.

"I think there’s a common assumption that women would accept less, and we deserve better," said Galligan. 

Their attorney says the demand going forward is simple: equal pay for equal work.

"They want their pay rates changed, and they want their back pay for their lost wages" said Deborah Gordon. 

Channel 7 reached out to the Free Press. They did not immediately respond but later issued this statement:

The lawsuit has no merit and the Free Press has a long-standing commitment to supporting equal pay.