isn't one in which workers typically volunteer to join the unemployed. But that's what has happened at Just Out
, Portland's leading gay and lesbian newspaper.
Publisher Marty Davis confirmed that when she got to her office last Friday morning, two letters of resignation were taped to her door. Departing the paper were news editor Jaymee Cuti and arts-and-culture editor Jim Radosta. Art director Blake Martinez quit earlier in the week.
At issue, according to Davis, is that she has been a bit slow in making payroll. "I've been a bit behind," she said, pointing out that ad revenue is down about 15 percent from last year. Including Davis, there are five staffers left and she says they "are more understanding of the harsh economic times."
Radosta says, "I've not gotten paid on time in six months. It used to be days and now it's getting to be a few weeks. I love the work I do, but it was a very difficult position."
Radosta claimed that in September, Davis paid the staff "under the table," and didn't send governmental authorities the required taxes. (According to Oregon's Department of Revenue, employers are required to withhold payroll taxes under state law and the penalties for non-compliance are a Class "C" Felony.) Davis said that this week she finally paid those taxes and added, "We've been publishing for 25 years and we are going to continue. And for everyone laid off from The Oregonian
and Just Out
, there are now jobs available here."