The Washington Post reports that Richard Miniter, who
was also vice president of opinion, made the claim in a filing Tuesday with the
Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) that also disclosed he was fired last
month. According to the newspaper, Miniter said in an interview that he
“was made to feel there was no choice” but to attend the ceremony if
he wanted to keep his job, and that executives “gave me examples of people
whose careers at the Times had grown after they converted” to the
A Times spokesman said the paper would not comment.
Miniter, an Episcopalian who tried to avoid attending by
saying he had to worship at his own church, said the Times had invited him to
other such events, and that the newspaper paid for his travel to the event last
December in New York. He also noted that he and other company executives,
including church member Thomas P. McDevitt, then the Times’ president and
publisher, stayed at the church-owned New Yorker Hotel.
The Times, owned by Unification Church officials, has
said since its 1982 founding that it is editorially independent of the church,
and numerous editors and reporters have said over the years that they
encountered no interference from the ownership, according to the news report.
In the EEOC complaint, Miniter, 42, also charges the Times with discriminating against him on the basis of age and disability. He said Times executives expressed concern about the frequency of his medical appointments after a 10-day hospitalization for chest pains. He was hired as a Times consultant last October and tapped for the editorial page in March, and he remains on the masthead, but his lawyer said the Times is “trading off his name. . . . but he’s not being paid.”
Asked earlier this month about Miniter’s lengthy absence, the Times issued a statement praising his “insights and innovation” and saying that the two sides “are discussing his compensation.” Minter said he was never given a reason for his termination.