Manigault-Newman, who befriended Donald Trump as a contestant on “The Apprentice” and later worked on his 2016 presidential campaign, claims she was paid “significantly less” than her male counterparts while campaigning for the now-president.
“To hear there were so many other women who got paid 20 percent less across the board, I’m talking about on the state level, the local level and national level … I wanted to join the efforts,” she told MSNBC in a recent interview.
“The numbers don’t lie,” Manigualt-Newman added. “The data is there, right there for public consumption.”
The former reality star said she was paid $7,000 a month for her work on the campaign while her male colleague earned $11,000 a month for “doing the same job.” Manigault Newman, 45, said this was case for other women staffers on the campaign who had “more experience and more education,” yet were paid less.
Newman’s filing specifically names Bryan Lanza, the former Trump for President deputy communications director and Trump Transition Team communications director, whose work “required substantially equal skill, effort, and responsibility as mine” yet was compensated with higher pay, The Daily Beast reported. FEC filings show that while Manigault-Newman was paid $28,000 for two months of work, Lanza received $62,000 for just three months of consulting work.
The former aide said she was unaware of the pay disparity until her lawyer brought it to her attention.
“While I strongly suspected I was subjected to pay discrimination while with the Trump campaign, I have since seen expert analysis confirming this to be true,” she said in a statement.
Manigault-Newman, who served as the campaign’s director of African-American outreach, followed Trump to the White House to work as the communications director for the Office of Public Liaison before being ousted from the job in December 2017. She then penned a tell-all book levying bombshell accusations against Trump and his administration.
Now, she’s hoping to sue her former boss for pay discrimination.
“I am joining this effort for women and minorities to help level the playing field in the political arena between men and women,” Manigault-Newman said. “It is time for all of us to blow the whistle on the wrongdoings of this campaign.”
The proposed class-action suit was first brought by Alva Johnson, a Trump campaign staffer who accused the president of forcibly kissing her during a campaign rally in August 2016. Her suit, filed in February, also accused the Trump campaign of paying her less than her white, male colleagues.
Johnson, who’s Black, is now asking a judge to expand her suit to collective-action status, which would allow Manigualt-Newman and other staffers to join in on it.
“This case is about two things: Donald Trump’s predation, and his campaign’s discrimination against women and people of color,” Johnson’s lawyer, Hassan Zavareei, said on Monday. “Our filing today advances our claim for sex discrimination by seeking collective action certification on behalf of female campaign staffers.”
Officials with the Trump campaign have denied the allegations, saying the campaign has never discriminated “based on race, ethnicity, gender, or any other basis.”
“Any allegation suggesting otherwise is off base and unfounded,” it added.
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