Longtime television news anchor Sandra Maas has filed a lawsuit claiming McKinnon Broadcasting, the parent company of KUSI-TV, failed to provide equal pay to women and discriminated against her due to age and gender.
The lawsuit filed June 25 also accuses the television company of retaliation and seeks $10 million in damages.
Maas, 56, has worked in TV for roughly 35 years and has been employed with KUSI since July 2004.
In her lawsuit Maas said she had learned that her male co-anchor was paid at least $90,000 more than she was, when she asked for a raise in December 2017.
Maas said confirmed a somewhat smaller pay disparity when her former co-anchor left the station and told Maas that he earned $70,000 more than she did, according to the lawsuit.
Maas wrote to KUSI’s General Manager, Mike McKinnon, Jr. in April 2018, asking that her annual salary be “on par” with her male co-anchor. The general manager told her he didn’t like the tone of her email, the complaint states.
In May 2018, Maas was offered a one-year extension of her contract that was approximately $70,000 below the salary of her male colleagues, according to the complaint which was drafted by local employment rights attorney Josh Gruenberg.
When that one-year extension ended, Maas was told the station would not renew her contract. Her last day at KUSI was June 13.
The decision was “not about your performance,” the lawsuit claims the station’s news director told Maas.
“We are bringing in a new generation of people,” the news director allegedly told her.
Before filing the lawsuit, Maas’ attorney filed a claim with the state Department of Fair Employment and Housing.
NBC 7 reached out to KUSI for station management's reaction to the complaint. Our call was sent to a newsroom employee who said "no comment" and asked not to be identified.