Posted September 3rd, 2015.
U.S. District Court Certifies Female Sales Representatives’ Equal Pay Act Class Suit Against Big Pharma Giant Forest Laboratories
NEW YORK, Sept. 3, 2015 /PRNewswire/ — The Plaintiffs in Barrett et al. v. Forest Laboratories Inc. et al., 1:12-cv-05224 (S.D.N.Y.) secured a hard-fought win when Magistrate Judge Michael Dolinger granted collective action certification to a class of female pharmaceutical sales representatives currently and formerly employed by Big Pharma giant Forest Laboratories (acquired in 2014 by Actavis). After reviewing voluminous briefing from the Parties, Judge Dolinger concluded that the thousands of women who work or worked at Forest between June 17, 2009 and the present should receive Court-ordered notice about their opportunity to participate in a class action challenging pay discrimination at Forest. The decision came down late on Sept. 2nd.
The Court issued this ruling over the vigorous opposition of Forest, which anticipated annual revenues of over $15 billion for 2015 after its acquisition by Actavis was completed in July 2014. In issuing his ruling in favor of Plaintiffs, Judge Dolinger noted that Plaintiffs’ expert had identified “a statistically significant difference between the pay of male and female Sales Representatives” at Forest, “results . . . well above the threshold of 1.96 standard deviations, thus reflecting a likelihood well under 5 percent that random error accounted for the pay differential.” Judge Dolinger ultimately concluded that Plaintiffs submitted sufficient evidence to show that female Sales Representatives at Forest were paid less than their male counterparts for the same work, presenting “a colorable case of gender-based discrimination” on behalf of a class of similarly situated female Sales Representatives at Forest.
“We are thrilled with the Court’s decision to grant conditional certification and to permit thousands of current and former female Sales Representatives at Forest the opportunity to participate directly in this suit,” said Deborah Marcuse, Managing Partner of Sanford Heisler Kimpel’s New York office and lead counsel in the case. “This decision sends a welcome message not only to the women who have bravely come forward in this case to challenge gender-based inequities at Forest, but also to other women in Big Pharma who believe they are being paid less than their male counterparts for the same work.”
This victory means that notice will be mailed to former and current female Sales Representatives who worked at Forest anywhere in the United States from June 17, 2009 to the present.
In addition to challenging unequal, centralized pay decisions in their suit, the Plaintiffs also challenge other discriminatory employment decisions, including discrimination in promotions, work assignments, and discrimination against pregnant women and mothers. The Plaintiffs plan to seek class certification of these systemic gender discrimination claims early next year.
The Plaintiffs and the class are represented by Deborah Marcuse, David Sanford, Jeremy Heisler, Thomas Henderson, Michael Palmerand David Tracey of Sanford Heisler Kimpel, LLP. Ms. Marcuse is also lead counsel in Sanford Heisler Kimpel’s gender discrimination class action against Merck, Inc.
About Sanford Heisler Kimpel LLP
Sanford Heisler Kimpel, LLP is a nationwide litigation law firm with offices in New York, Washington, DC, San Francisco, and San Diego. We represent individuals against powerful interests. We act as a private attorney general in support of the private and public good. Our attorneys have attended the nation’s top law schools, clerked for judges throughout the United States, and amassed extensive experience litigating cases that have earned over $1 billion for our clients.
Sanford Heisler Kimpel specializes in representing plaintiffs with claims involving employment discrimination, wage and hour violations, predatory lending, whistleblowing, False Claims Act (qui tam), consumer fraud, financial elder abuse, 401(K) (ERISA) matters, actions brought under Dodd Frank, SEC whistleblower matters, and other claims. The firm also has achieved great results in representing executives, attorneys and managers in contract and employment disputes throughout the United States.
Sanford Heisler Kimpel has an impressive history of success. Our team of skilled attorneys secured the largest jury award in an employment discrimination case, winning more than $250 million for 7,000 female sales representatives. The firm also achieved a $99 million wage and hour recovery on behalf of pharmaceutical representatives and represented a whistleblower in a $120 million qui tam case against Omnicare.
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