Ex-Iowa TV Anchor Gaining National Attention for Discrimination Lawsuit
A former Iowa TV personality is getting a lot of attention over her lawsuit against her former employer. Sonya Heitshusen, a former TV anchor for WHO in Des Moines, is 54-year-old. She had worked at WHO for over 17 years before leaving the station last July. Now, according to a TV Spy story, she is going after the station's parent company Nexstar for both age and gender discrimination.
Sonya Heitshusen has been vocal since leaving
Since her departure, Heitshusen has taken to Twitter to discuss her choice to sue, referring to it as "not an easy decision." Her lawsuit claims that male anchors received higher pay, more vacation time than female employees, and more on-air kudos for journalism awards. Heitshusen also says that they are not judged on their appearance in the same manner as female employees are.
Heitshusen is hoping for a "cultural shift" and says she was "thrown out to pasture" according to an AP News story.
Suits like Heitshusen's are not new
While the Heitshusen suit is gaining national attention, it's far from an isolated lawsuit. In 2019, five anchorwomen sued NY1 in New York claiming age discrimination. Since 2018, CBS has been dealing with allegations of racism and misogyny from many high-level employees past and present. These issues and others which has not yet surfaced are fueling Sonya Heitshusen's efforts.
As Heitshusen mentions in her only Twitter comment on the suit thus far, she is hoping it results in helping other women in broadcasting. Nexstar operates 199 TV stations in the U.S.