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A Good Story is Worth Repeating: Long Time Employee, Editor Joyce Snyder Sues Swank Magazine For Age, Sex Discrimination

from – Joyce Snyder, an editor at Swank Magazine since the late 1970’s claims Swank Publications and Broadway Publishing [dba Faces Magazine] fired her because of age and sex discrimination, despite her stellar record as an editor.

Snyder filed the suit August 24, 2011 in the Superior Court of New Jersey, Bergen County. Besides Swank, Snyder names Great Eastern Color Lithographic and Louis Perretta, the owner of Faces, as co-defendants.

Including Swank, Faces publishes Genesis, Gallery, Club, Just 18, Fox and Velvet. Snyder, who was fired in February, 2011, first began with Swank as a freelance writer at the time Swank was owned by Charles Goodman. Swank and a sister publication, Stag, were softcore books.

By 1980, Snyder had come on board as a full time staff writer. After several years Snyder was promoted to Editorial Director. In that position Snyder was responsible for approving the final layout boards of several magazines, selecting and creating covers, coordinating publishing policies and creating titles as well as future ideas and themes.

During that tenure Snyder also created X-Rated Cinema magazine. In addition to being Editor of Swank, Snyder also made a name for herself in the adult industry as a producer, production manager and screenwriter. As a side note, Snyder, who produced the Raw Talent series, made the R-rated horror flick Hazing in Hell using director Paul Ziller who also started in porn.

Faces ultimately purchased all of Broadway’s softcore titles and employees were either terminated or moved on to work for the new company. It was at that point that Snyder became an employee of Faces and worked as an Editorial Director, pretty much in the same capacity as she had done with Broadway Publishing before it was bought out.

In her lawsuit, Snyder claims that she never had problems and that she had always performed her duties with diligence and skill. According to her, she was never disciplined or given a negative performance review, yet during her term of employment Snyder had never been given a merit-based raise.

However, Snyder alleges that she began noticing “discriminatory trends” in the company’s operations. Among those trends, says Snyder, the company began hiring younger male editorial assistants with substantially less experience and fast tracked them to high positions on magazines with large circulation numbers.

Whereas Snyder continually received “low rung assignments” on magazines with smaller circulation numbers.

It was around 2000 that Faces switched to hardcore content. Snyder’s lawsuit describes how in 2005 she was given the assignment by Stephen Perretta, son of Louis Perretta, to write boxcover copy for Swank’s porn videos where others who had tried, failed.

In 2009, Snyder, who was then 59, was told she had to take a substantial salary cut or be terminated. The reason she was given were that the publications weren’t making enough revenue to warrant her salary. Two other employees were also forced to take salary cuts, according to Snyder, and both were female. No male employees were forced to take a salary reduction.

On October 16, 2009, Snyder wrote a letter to Louis Perretta describing how she felt she was being marginalized at work because she was not ”one of the boys”, that her job had been diminished because of her sex and age and that she was finding herself with less and less to do.

Perretta allegedly replied stating that he wasn’t unhappy with Snyder’s performances and that the decisions were based solely on economic difficulties.

After the letter, Snyder claims she was re-assigned to the lowest circulation magazines in the company. According to Snyder, the titles were not only below her skill set and expertise but that their imminent cancellation would justify the company in letting her go.

Snyder began noticing that editorial meetings were being held without her. When she asked why, she was told that someone ”forgot” to let her know about them.

On February 24, 2011, Snyder was terminated by Perretta as part of a “lay off”. As she had anticipated, Snyder was told that another reason involved the discontinuation of the magazines she was working on. However Snyder learned just the opposite.

Not only were the magazines expanded, the company purchased seven new publications including, Cheri, High Society and Playgirl. The other four acquisitions involved fetish themes- teen pornography- that Snyder had already worked on for other publications.

Snyder was also told that two male art directors were being terminated as part of the layoff. One of the art directors, Jim Atkinson, was hired back within a few weeks. The other director, Lissandro Pena, had actually already been moonlighting for another company and kept his job with Faces only to maintain health care benefits.

Snyder maintains that she was fired in violation of the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination, N.J.S.A. 10:5-1 et seq.

Snyder is also suing for mental anguish, embarrassment, stress, anxiety and humiliation. She is asking for compensatory damages, punitive damages, attorneys fees, and additional relief.

In matters of sex discrimination and retaliation, Snyder is also asking for similar compensation.


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