Last week, a proposed class-action lawsuit for alleged gender discrimination that was filed last year in a New York federal court by a female former Greenberg Traurig shareholder was reportedly settled. The shareholder purportedly worked in the law firm’s Philadelphia office for about three years between 2007 and 2010. According to her complaint, the Florida-based law firm violated the federal Equal Pay Act by underpaying its female attorneys.
In a 52-page complaint, the woman claimed she was underpaid by more than $200,000 over three years. She also alleged that she was told her annual bonus was smaller than expected because the male shareholders “had families to support and that she did not need the money.” Her proposed class-action sought to represent more than 200 past and current female shareholders of the firm. Following settlement negotiations, the lawsuit was apparently dismissed with prejudice at the request of both the shareholder and Greenberg Traurig. The exact terms of the parties’ settlement were not disclosed.
The woman’s lawsuit was purportedly filed after she filed a complaint with the nation’s Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). Following a federal investigation, the EEOC purportedly stated the organization found “reasonable cause to believe” the 1,700-attorney law firm not only underpaid its professional female employees, but also treated them less favorably than the firm’s male attorneys. According to a spokesperson for Greenberg Traurig, the EEOC’s findings were only applicable to the firm’s Philadelphia office. Still, EEOC statistics state less than four percent of complaints receive a “reasonable cause” determination following an investigation.
This case demonstrates that although women’s rights in the workplace have come a long way in recent generations, women from all walks of life are still unfairly discriminated against. Sadly, no employer is immune from engaging in illegal and unfair discrimination. It is important to keep in mind that gender discrimination is not always immediately apparent. Whenever an employer treats workers differently based solely on their gender, discrimination has taken place.
In some situations, gender discrimination may result in a so-called “glass ceiling” for female employees. This means women may find it difficult to be promoted beyond a certain level within a company. In addition, experienced and qualified female workers may be denied equal compensation despite their skills. If you suffered gender discrimination at work, a quality employment lawyer can help.
The employment attorneys at the Resnick Law Group represent current and former workers in legal matters involving gender discrimination, employment contracts, and a variety of others issues in both New Jersey and New York. To discuss how our caring attorneys may assist you, do not hesitate to contact our law firm online or give us a call today at 973-781-1204 or (646) 867-7997.
More Blog Posts:
Jury Award Demonstrates Why Disabled Workers in New Jersey and Nationwide Must be Defended Against Unlawful Discrimination, The New Jersey Employment Law Firm Blog, May 23, 2013
Unpaid Intern Lawsuits Seek to Enforce Wage and Hour Laws, The New Jersey Employment Law Firm Blog, May 9, 2013
Greenberg Traurig settles $200 mln proposed class action, by Casey Sullivan, Thomson Reuters News & Insight