A large class action gender discrimination lawsuit has just been filed against a high profile law firm. The lawsuit Francine Friedman Griesing v. Greenberg Traurig, LLP, includes 215 women, was filed after the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) found “reasonable cause to believe” that the law firm discriminated against its female attorneys. The EEOC found reasonable cause that the firm violated Title VII or the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Equal Pay Act by paying women less than their male counterparts and treating them less favorably than similarly situated males.
Title VII prohibits discrimination “because of” an employee’s sex. This means that your employer may not take an adverse action against you because of your sex. In other words, your sex cannot play a role in any aspect of your employment, including hiring, transfers, promotions, pay, disciplinary action, suspensions, and discharges. In addition to Title VII, a related law, the Equal Pay Act, requires that men and women be given equal pay for equal work
If you have questions about sex discrimination or believe that you may have been subject to discrimination based on your gender, it’s a good idea to talk to an experienced Atlanta sex discrimination attorney right away.
Here, Griesing alleges she was told to look for other employment after complaining about Greenberg Traurig’s compensation policies, which she said created a “boys club of origination” that stifled women’s ability to generate business and bill as many hours as men.
The complaint further asserted that by assigning women to lower levels and delaying their promotion, the firm denied its female shareholders compensation and opportunities to which they are otherwise entitled.
Despite bringing in income that would entitle to her to a higher bonus, she received lower amounts and was allegedly told the firm decreased her bonus to be able to offer higher bonuses to male shareholders who had “‘families to support.’”
The lawsuit noted that “even in a field dominated by archaic gender stereotypes, (Greenberg Traurig) stands out for its culture of discrimination against female attorneys … with only 9.6% of its equity shareholders are female, well below the 15% national average.”
Perhaps most alarming, the lawsuit alleges that the firm “has one exception to its general practice of denying women professional development opportunities and compensating women less than men — [it] prioritizes, pays and promotes women who have intimate relationships with firm leaders or who acquiesce to sexualized stereotypes.”
After complaining about the pay discrepancies, she was told she was ‘lucky to have a job.’”
Sadly, sex discrimination is still alive and well. As this lawsuit highlights, women from all different types of careers and work places still face the age old problems of sexism in the workplace.
For more information or if you believe that you have been discriminated against as the result of your sex, please contact the top Georgia sex discrimination lawyers at Buckley Bala Wilson Mew LLP for an immediate case evaluation.