This week, a group of former associates of the Jones Day law firm filed a class-action complaint against the firm alleging that female associates are discriminated against based on gender, pregnancy, and maternity. The Complaint (Complaint versus Jones Day.pdf) that was filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Colombia, alleges that the law firm hires approximately the same number of male and female associates, but that women associates make less money and are outnumbered when it comes to making partner. According to the lawsuit, if a woman gets pregnant, the consequences are worse - she usually gets fired.
Unfortunately, this type of conduct is pervasive. I myself have not only witnessed this type of conduct first hand but have also brought lawsuits against firms and companies for the very same allegations that are being raised by the former Jones Day associates. For example, last year we finally won a lawsuit that I brought on behalf of a female manager at AutoNation who was passed up for a promotion because she was "not a man." We brought that case in the year 2014, so it took us a good four years to obtain relief for our client. In that Complaint (Complaint verses Autonation.pdf) we alleged that the plaintiff had worked at the auto dealership for over 20 years and had been assistant parts manager for the last 10 years. When the parts manager position opened up, the position was given to a younger, less experienced man, despite the fact that the plaintiff expressed her interest in the position. When she asked why she did not get the position, plaintiff says that she was told that the position "needed a man." For details of this case, see the previous blog that I published back in September 2017.
I've handled many other cases of the same type that because of settlement terms I cannot reveal the name of the parties, but the sad commentary is that the glass ceiling is lower than ever. Even the Equal Pay Act, which should have guaranteed equal pay to both men and women, falls far short. Nevertheless, continued efforts need to be made and we are at the forefront of those efforts.
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If you have any questions regarding discrimination in the workplace, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act or any employment law issues, please do not hesitate to contact me, Santiago J. Padilla, Esq., either at 800-483-7197, or [email protected]