The New York Times and its women employes yesterday disclosed details of a settlement of a sex discrimination suit that gives the women $235,000 in annuities and an affirmative action hiring and promotion program.
Neither side was deterred by Magistrate Sol Schreiber, who made the settlement terms public and declared: "I think it would be a mistake if one reached a conclusion that there was a victory."
"We regard today's announcement as total vindication of The New York Times and as full refutation of the charges against us," James C. Goodale, executive vice president of the Times, said in a statement .
Harriet Rabb an attorney for the women said the affirmative action plan agreed to by the Times is unprecendented, and pointed to the Times agreement to pay annuities to female employes and pay the women's legal fees and costs as proof of the success of the discrimination suit.
The Times agreed to pay $235,500 which the roughly 560 women covered by the class action suit will receive in the form of annuities that can be held or crashed in immediately. It will also pays $1,000 each to 15 women who gave depositions in the suit, and up to $10,000 for the women's legal fees, expenses and costs.
The Times took as a point of pride throughout the 4-year-old old suit its position that it does not discriminate, and Goodale said before the settlements that nay out-of-court settlement would compromise the integrity of the newpaper.
He said yesterday that the Times decided to agree to a settlement because Magistrate Schreiber suggested that the cash award be in the form of annuities rather than retroactive salary increases such as have been decreed in other sex-discrimination suits.
Rabb rejected the difference the Times draws between annuities and retroactive pay increases. She called the annuities "a back-pay award."
The second factor that led the Times to settle, Goodale said, was that the dollar amount suggested by Schreiber, who listened to the two sides during 11 months of pre-trial proceedings, was the same amount the times had budgeted to pay its lawyers from the firm Cahill, Gordon & Reindel during a trial.
The Times concedes, Goodale said, that women, particularly older women, have suffered "cultural deprivation" in American society. "We didn't deny this existed, but did not feel particularly responsible for it," Goodale told reporters.
The annuities were in recognition of this, he said, emphatically rejecting Rabb's equation of the annuities with back pay.
In addition to insisting that the settlement does not indicate that the Times discriminated against women at any time, Goodale said that the new affirmative-action plan agreed to by the Times in settling the suit is weaker than the existing affirmative action plan but into effect by the Times in 1974, when it had to have such a program because it had become a Defense Department contractor. (The Times sells it library services to the Pentagon).
Rabb countered that the unprecedented feature of the new program is that the Times pledges to place women in one out of eight of the top 30 corporate positions during the agreement's four-year life.
The Times also agreed to give women 25 percent of its senior news jobs.
The Times compliance with its new affirmative action plan will be monitored by the Women's Causus of the Times, and Rabb and her fellow on hiring and promotions from the Times in the first-two months of each year of the agreement.