A Novartis saleswoman testified Monday her career tanked when she complained she was raped by a doctor after one of the company’s golf outings.
Marjorie Salame said that three weeks after she reported being sexually assaulted in May 2002, her superiors wanted to put her in a remedial program for poor performers even though her “sales performance was excellent.”
Salame is part of a $200 million class action suit by female employees who say the pharmaceutical giant discriminated against women and ruined their careers if they became pregnant.
Salame said she was raped by a doctor who gave her a lift after a Novartis event. She said she reported it to police, but prosecutors declined to press charges.
After she reported the incident to her bosses, a Novartis supervisor grilled her about what had happened, Salame said. He put his finger in her face, asked her how much she’d had to drink and warned she needed to take responsibility for what happened, Salame tearfully told the jury.
“I felt pretty victimized,” she said.
Novartis has denied the discrimination charges.
Yesterday, the firm confronted Salame with e-mails in which she had praised her immediate supervisor for being “nothing but supportive, understanding and protective.”
Salame said some of the wording was an attempt to “hold onto” her job.
She said she has since been blacklisted and is unable to get promoted in Novartis, where she still works, or get a job with another drug company.