Felicia Sonmez Sues Washington Post and Martin Baron, Claiming Discrimination

Felicia Sonmez, a Washington Submit reporter, on Wednesday filed a discrimination lawsuit towards the newspaper and a few of its high editors, claiming they’d discriminated towards her by barring her from overlaying tales associated to sexual assault after she went public as a sufferer of assault.

Ms. Sonmez, who has lined breaking political information at The Submit since 2018, stated within the lawsuit that she had been subjected to a hostile work atmosphere after her editors put in place two bans over almost two years that prevented her from excelling at her job.

The lawsuit was filed within the Superior Court docket of the District of Columbia on Wednesday. Among the many defendants is The Submit’s former government editor, Martin Baron, who retired in February. The go well with additionally names as defendants 5 present high-level editors, Cameron Barr, Tracy Grant, Steve Ginsberg, Lori Montgomery and Peter Wallsten.

Ms. Sonmez stated within the lawsuit that after she publicly acknowledged in 2018 that she had been assaulted by a fellow journalist whereas dwelling in Beijing, The Submit had barred her from overlaying Christine Blasey Ford’s sexual misconduct allegations towards Brett Kavanaugh. (The accused journalist, who labored for The Los Angeles Occasions on the time, has denied the allegations.)

After an article in Motive journal on allegations towards the journalist got here out a yr later, Ms. Sonmez stated she was once more subjected to a protection ban by The Submit. She added that she was “disciplined” by her editors at The Submit for publicly requesting a correction to the article.

In January 2020, Ms. Sonmez was suspended by The Submit after she tweeted a hyperlink to a information article detailing sexual assault allegations towards the basketball star Kobe Bryant shortly after his loss of life. She alleges within the lawsuit that The Submit didn’t present safety for her after she was inundated afterward with rape and loss of life threats. That suspension was later overturned.

The second protection ban towards Ms. Sonmez was lifted after she publicly pleaded together with her editors to take action, in line with the lawsuit.

The lawsuit stated that, due to the protection bans, Ms. Sonmez “was denied the chance to cowl many tales that have been newsworthy and acquired widespread consideration that might have led to additional publicity and profession development.” She additionally suffered “financial loss, humiliation, embarrassment, psychological and emotional misery, and the deprivation of her rights to equal employment alternatives,” in line with the go well with.

A spokeswoman for The Submit declined to remark. Mr. Baron didn’t instantly reply to a request for remark.

Represented within the go well with by the Washington agency Alderman, Devorsetz & Hora, Ms. Sonmez has demanded a jury trial. She is asking for $2 million in damages, or an quantity “to be decided by the jury.”

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