Posted October 5th, 2011.
As it appeared in the Wall Street JournalProskauer Rose has built a reputation as one of the nation’s leading defenders of employment discrimination suits.But now the firm is on the receiving end of a discrimination suit, filed today in New York state court by the firm’s former Chief Financial Officer, Elly Rosenthal.Law firms have been hit with many discrimination suits over the years, often by women and minorities who claimed they were wrongly passed over for partner. But it’s rare to see a suit filed by an employee at this level of seniority.“Despite a nearly two-decade track record of success, during which Ms. Rosenthal never received a single negative review, she was marginalized by male superiors . . .and then terminated after she took medical leave” for breast cancer, she alleges in her complaint, which seeks $10 million in damages.The Law Blog has sought comment from the firm.Rosenthal alleges that women are “conspicuously” absent from Proskauer’s leadership ranks and comprise only 15% of the firm’s partnership.Her complaint uses Proskauer’s reputation against the firm. As Proskauer’s website “proudly proclaims, for more than 70 years the firm has been ‘synonymous with labor law’ — on the side of the country’s ‘largest employers,’” the complaint states. “Unfortunately for Elly Rosenthal. . . .this management-side experience has served the firm all too well.”