A woman claims she was fired in 2011 by Andrew Yang, who was then CEO of a tutoring company, after complaining to Yang about two male coworkers being paid more for similar work, according to documents obtained by BuzzFeed News. A Yang spokesperson has denied the woman's allegations.
"Andrew always spoke positively of my work and my value to the company," the unidentified woman told BuzzFeed News in a statement. "This changed only when I approached him about the disparity of my salary compared to male colleagues in similar roles."
"I believe Andrew fired me as retaliation for asking to be paid a salary that was still significantly less than what he was paying my male counterparts," the woman added in her statement.
On Yang's campaign website, the candidate argues the gender gap "persists today not only in the opportunities afforded to people, but also in the compensation people receive for performing the same work," Yang continues. "This is stupid. People should receive equal pay for doing equal work. There’s a lot of fuzziness around the $.80-to-the-dollar stat, especially once you take race as well as gender into account, but the simple fact remains that women—especially black, Hispanic, and Native American women—earn much less than their male coworkers."
The woman who worked at Manhattan GMAT while Yang served as CEO of the company says she was making $87,000 a year when Yang hired two additional men and paid them both $125,000 in salary and a $50,000 relocation bonus. The woman claims to know how much Yang was paying the two men because Yang asked her to send the two men offer letters from the company. The woman stated that she had been at the company for two years and routinely performed work outside her own department. BuzzFeed News spoke to an unidentified person who also worked at the company during the same time and the individual disputed the woman's claim that she had worked at the same level as the two men.
When asked about the woman's accusations in detail, campaign spokesperson S.Y. Lee told BuzzFeed News, "Like many CEOs, Andrew Yang has had the unfortunate task of letting staff go who did not meet the organization’s standards. The information provided by the letter-writer does not reflect the reality of the situation."
The Yang campaign had a similar response to another woman who claimed Yang fired her in 2007 after she returned from her honeymoon. According to that woman, Yang told the woman he was letting her go because the woman chose to get married and Yang feared she would no longer work as hard.
Responding to the allegation, Yang told the HuffPost "As a CEO I made decisions about hiring and firing singularly based on performance. Kimberly Watkins’ facts about her break from Manhattan Prep are inaccurate. During my more than a decade as CEO, I have worked with many women, married and otherwise, and value their work and dedication as important to the success of any institution. If I were the kind of leader who would do the sort of thing described by Ms. Watkins I would never enjoy a whiff of success."
It's interesting that Yang continues to believe in the gender gap despite his firsthand experience knowing that fired employees routinely lie about the circumstances of their termination. As Yang admits, he wouldn't "enjoy a whiff of success" as a leader if he did the sort of things these two women have accused him of doing. So how can Yang then believe other successful leaders are engaged in the exact same behavior? My guess? He doesn't. Yang is vying for the Democratic presidential nomination and the gender gap myth is an article of faith among the crazy left-wing base.
Yang's campaign website says the "federal government must do more to ensure that anyone performing the same work in substantially similar situations should receive equal pay."
Poetic justice that Yang is now the victim of a myth he and his fellow Democrats help perpetuate.