We are pleased to announce that the L.A. Times Guild and the Los Angeles Times reached a tentative agreement on hiring and diversity language Thursday that incorporates a stronger version of the NFL’s Rooney Rule and would make the L.A. Times a leader in the news industry.
The policy, once ratified, will require Times managers, when possible, to interview at least two candidates who are women or members of traditionally-underrepresented groups — including women, Black, Latino, Asian American, Native and LGBTQ journalists.
The Times has also agreed to form a joint diversity committee with the Guild to address issues of diversity in hiring, recruitment and retention in the newsroom. The committee will have access to anonymized equal-employment opportunity data collected during the hiring process and the power to make reports and recommendations.
As the L.A. Times expands and adds dozens of talented journalists in California and across the country, the Guild wants to make sure the company is talking to all the best candidates for the job. Research has shown that including at least two diverse candidates in a hiring pool “can make the difference and lead to their hiring,” according to the Harvard Business Review. The newsroom union of The Intercept adopted a similar policy earlier this year.
The L.A. Times Guild and the company also reached a tentative agreement on anti-discrimination language that would empower the Guild to file a grievance on behalf of employees with discrimination, harassment or retaliation claims. Employees who don’t want to go through civil litigation could instead choose to resolve such disputes through arbitration.
These policies would be implemented pending the completion of negotiations and the approval of our contract by our newsroom, which will be the first-ever collective-bargaining agreement reached between the Los Angeles Times and its journalists in the 137-year history of the newspaper. Negotiations continue over a variety of issues crucial to our newsroom, and we hope to reach a settlement with the company soon.