Discrimination & Harassment

Volkswagen AG Age Discrimination Collective Action

The German automakers’ “Pact for the Future” labor campaign eliminates 7,000 jobs in the Americas primarily held by workers born between 1995 and 1960.

Maria Sicola v. Cushman & Wakefield, Inc.

The complaint alleges that the shocking decision to terminate Ms. Sicola and promote Mr. Thorpe in her place was the culmination of years of unlawful discrimination based on gender and age to which C&W’s all male global leadership team subjects women over 40.

Suzy Reingold v. Cushman & Wakefield, Inc.

The complaint was filed on behalf of the company’s New York Tri-State Chief Operating Officer Suzy A. Reingold, 66, who despite her 15 years of real estate management experience was passed over for promotion to New York Tri-State President. C&W chose, instead, a 38-year-old man from outside of the company, Ron Lo Russo, who had no management experience.

Ikon Office Solutions, Inc. Race Discrimination Class Action – $1.3 Million Settlement

Sanford Heisler Sharp represented a class of African-American employees who were denied equal treatment in pay and promotion. The case settled for $1.3 million in monetary and systemic relief.

Super Steel Schenectady, Inc. Race Harassment Class Action – $1.25 Million Settlement

A class of African-American employees was subjected to death threats and racist harassment. Sanford Heisler Sharp settled the case for $1.25 million in damages and a consent decree that effected significant reform in Super Steel Schenectady.

Cracker Barrel Race Discrimination Class Action – $8.7 Million Settlement

David Sanford was lead counsel in a race discrimination class action suit against Cracker Barrel restaurants. The case concerned discrimination in pay and promotion, and also involved discrimination against African-American customers. The United States Department of Justice intervened in the case after five years of litigation and the suit settled for $8.7 million.

General Electric Race Discrimination Action

Sanford Heisler Sharp represented Marc Thomas, President and CEO of General Electric Aviation Materials, in his suit on behalf of himself and other African-American executives at GE. Mr. Thomas alleged racial discrimination in pay and promotions at the highest levels of the GE Corporate structures. Sanford Heisler settled the case for undisclosed terms.

Smith & Nephew Race Discrimination Class Action – $4 Million Settlement

Sanford Heisler Sharp represented a class of African-Americans in race discrimination claims against Smith & Nephew, an international medical devices corporation. Our clients suffered discrimination in hiring, pay, and promotions. The Court approved a $4 million class settlement in November 2009. In addition to the $4M award, the Court approved extensive non-monetary, systemic changes at Smith & Nephew.

US Marshals Race Discrimination Class Action

In a class action race discrimination case, Sanford Heisler Sharp is counsel for the class, which includes over 700 current and former African American Deputy U.S. Marshals and Detention Enforcement Officers who have experienced racism in hiring, promotions, and headquarters assignments from 1994 to the present. The class also includes all African American candidates who applied for Deputy U.S. Marshal positions since 1994 but were never hired.

John Elway’s Manhattan Beach Toyota Race Discrimination Case

Case Description Case Type: Race Discrimination Company: John Elway’s Manhattan Beach Toyota Timothy Sandquist is an African-American male, who was a knowledgeable, high-performing, and hardworking employee at John Elway’s Manhattan Beach Toyota for more than 10 years. He started at the dealership as a Sales Representative in 2000 and worked his way up to Sales […]

Schlumberger Technology Corporation Gender Discrimination and Sexual Harassment Class Action

The Complaint documents a longstanding pattern of abuse in which Schlumberger knowingly permits women who work on male-dominated oil rigs to be sexually harassed, assaulted, and discriminated against by their male colleagues.

Robert De Niro Lawsuit

The lawsuit alleges that De Niro and Canal Productions subjected their longtime employee, Graham Chase Robinson, to a hostile work environment, including unwelcome physical contact, sexually-charged comments, verbal abuse, and sex-stereotyping.

Ogletree, Deakins, Nash, Smoak & Stewart, P.C. PAGA Lawsuit

The plaintiff is former Ogletree equity partner Tracy Warren, who filed the representative action on behalf of herself and other similarly situated current or former female attorneys employed in California at the storied defense-side labor and employment firm. Ms. Warren filed the action under the California Labor Code Private Attorneys General Act of 2004 (PAGA).

Merck Gender Pay, Promotion and Pregnancy Discrimination Class Action

This gender discrimination class action against pharmaceutical giant Merck & Co., Inc. was originally filed by Plaintiff Kelli Smith in May 2013 in the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey. In January 2014, four additional class representatives from around the country joined the suit as plaintiffs alleging pay, promotion and pregnancy discrimination against the company.

Yale University Gender Discrimination Class Action

According to the complaint, the three student plaintiffs were groped at fraternity parties in their first semesters at Yale. The student plaintiffs know of other female students who experienced similar sexual harassment and assault during and after fraternity parties and at the hands of fraternity brothers.

Western Digital Class Action

This case has been settled and the class settlement is pending court approval. If the Court approves, Western Digital will make a non-reversionary payment of $7.75 million to settle class claims for gender discrimination and unequal pay for female employees.

Ogletree, Deakins, Nash, Smoak & Stewart, P.C. Gender Discrimination Lawsuit

The complaint asserts that Ogletree uses a number of tactics to shortchange female shareholders in pay and promotions. The firm manipulates allocation of origination credits by unfairly attributing such credits to male shareholders, even when women at the firm are the ones who bring in the client.

Morrison & Foerster Gender, Pregnancy, and Maternity Discrimination Class and Collective Action

The Complaint, which is filed on behalf of three female associates currently employed at MoFo, alleges the international law firm practices systemic gender discrimination against female lawyers, particularly those who are pregnant or have children.

EXL Service Holdings, Inc. Gender Discrimination and Retaliation Lawsuit

The complaint alleges that when Ms. Saltzman complained to EXL Board Member Clyde Ostler about the discrimination that she was personally experiencing, the company fired her.

Columbia University Title IX Lawsuit

The Complaint, brought under the federal Title IX law as well as the New York City Human Rights Law, alleges that Columbia University and Professor Harris have consistently and systematically violated the rights of the now 29-year-old Plaintiff Jane Doe, with Professor Harris, now age 79, subjecting her to sexual harassment and other sexual exploitation and Columbia University ignoring her complaints.

Sanofi-Aventis Gender Discrimination Class Action – $24 Million Settlement

Sanford Heisler Sharp represented a class of approximately 6,000 female sales employees in pay and promotion and gender discrimination claims against the pharmaceutical corporation, Sanofi Aventis U.S. The settlement produced more than $15 million in monetary benefits plus the $13.4 million reverberating effect of a $2 million pay equity adjustment over a five-year period.

Norton Rose Fulbright/Chadbourne & Parke LLP Gender Discrimination Class Action – $3.1 Million Settlement

According to Plaintiff Kerrie Campbell, a nationally recognized trial lawyer and partner in Chadbourne’s Washington, DC office, female partners at the firm are excluded from positions of decision-making authority and receive less pay and bonuses even when they out-perform their male counterparts. There is only a one-tier partnership, with every partner characterized as an equity partner.

SeaSpine Holdings Inc. CEPA Class Action

Case Description Case Type: Gender Discrimination Company: SeaSpine Holdings Inc. Click here to read Exhibit B – Press Release

Sedgwick Gender Discrimination Class Action – Settlement Reached

Traci M. Ribeiro, a high-performing, non-equity Partner at Sedgwick, alleges that Sedgwick engaged in systemic pay and promotion discrimination and thereby violated Title VII, the Equal Pay Act, and analogous state laws.

University of Arizona Gender Discrimination Collective Action

The Complaint, brought under the federal Equal Pay Act (EPA), alleges that ABOR dramatically underpaid Dr. MacCorquodale during her tenure as Honors College Dean relative to male deans at the university and to her male successors at the Honors College. Dean MacCorquodale had been employed by UA since 1978.

Elly Rosenthal v. Proskauer Rose LLP

Proskauer Rose LLP – an international law firm that claims its name is ‘synonymous with labor law’ – was sued for employment discrimination today. The lawsuit was filed in the Supreme Court of the State of New York, New York County, on behalf of Proskauer’s longtime female Chief Financial Officer, Elly Rosenthal.

Dartmouth College Gender Discrimination/Title IX Class Action

The Complaint alleges that Dartmouth willfully ignored more than a decade of widespread sexual harassment by tenured professors Todd Heatherton, William Kelley, and Paul Whalen, who formed a private “predators club” and treated the PBS Department like a “21st Century Animal House.”

Cushman & Wakefield Gender and Race Discrimination Suit

According to the Complaint, Ms. Urquhart-Bradley’s career advancement repeatedly faced discriminatory roadblocks despite her objectively outstanding performance.

Qualcomm Gender Discrimination Class Action – $19.5 Million Settlement

In 2016, Sanford Heisler Sharp reached a $19.5 million settlement against Qualcomm in a gender discrimination class action involving a class of approximately 3,300 women and was reached before plaintiffs filed suit. The settlement included comprehensive programmatic relief to ensure female employees working in STEM and related positions at the company will have access to equal job opportunities.

University of Arizona Gender Discrimination Class Action

Federal court complaint alleges that female professors in the University of Arizona College of Science earn less, are denied promotions, and lack equal access to resources.

Daiichi Sankyo Gender Pay, Promotion and Pregnancy Discrimination Class Action – $8.2 Million Settlement

In February 2013, six current and former female pharmaceutical sales professionals filed a $100 million class and collective action gender discrimination lawsuit against Daiichi Sankyo in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, alleging discrimination in pay, promotion and other terms and conditions of employment based on gender, pregnancy and family responsibilities. The case was settled for $8.2 million in 2016.

Forest Laboratories Gender Discrimination Class Action – $4 Million Settlement

In July 2012, Sanford Heisler Sharp filed a $100 million class action lawsuit against Forest Laboratories, Inc., and Forest Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (“Forest”) in federal court in New York, alleging, among other claims, that Forest discriminates against its female Sales Representatives by paying them less than their male counterparts. The Plaintiffs also allege claims of failure to promote, discrimination based on pregnancy and maternity leave, sexual harassment, and retaliation. In 2014, the Court denied Forest’s attempt to dismiss the Plaintiffs’ claims, and in 2015 the Court conditionally certified a class under the Equal Pay Act (EPA).

Fairfield Resorts Gender Discrimination and Sexual Harassment Class Action – $5 Million Settlement

Sanford Heisler Sharp represented a class of women in a sexual harassment and gender discrimination claims against Fairfield Resorts Incorporated, a major resort and timeshare company. The case was settled on behalf of all female employees at Fairfield’s Nashville, Tennessee facility in 2006, with over five million dollars in damages and significant modifications to Fairfield’s internal policies and procedures.

Beth Burns Wrongful Termination Suit – $3.35+ Million Verdict

The popular women’s basketball head coach was terminated by San Diego State University with four years left on her new 5-year contract after the women’s Aztecs basketball team completed a record-breaking 27-win season. The institution initially claimed its decision to remove Burns was based on her actions during a 2013 home game between her Aztecs and Colorado State University, during which she had incidental physical contact with a male assistant coach on the Aztecs’ bench during the heat of the close game.

Novartis Pharmaceutical Gender Discrimination Class Action – $253 Million Jury Verdict; $175 Million Settlement

In the largest gender discrimination case to ever go to trial, Sanford Heisler Sharp successfully represented a class of 5,600 female sales representatives of Novartis Pharmaceutical Company in their gender pay and promotion and pregnancy discrimination claims. A unanimous decision by a jury of nine found Novartis liable for gender discrimination in pay and promotion and pregnancy-related matters and awarded 12 former Novartis sales reps $3.36 million in compensatory damages and the class of 5,600 women an additional $250 million in punitive damages In addition, the verdict from the jury meant that the remaining 5,600 women in the class were also entitled to additional awards of backpay and to seek compensatory damage awards up to $300,000 each. The verdict and the resulting monetary awards was the largest ever in the U.S in an employment discrimination case.

Columbia University Sexual Harassment Case – $1.25 Jury Verdict

The complaint provides extensive details regarding how the senior leadership of Columbia – including the Provost of the University and the Dean of Columbia Business School – allowed one of Columbia’s senior, tenured professors to sexually harass and obstruct the work of a female junior faculty member, plaintiff Enrichetta Ravina. Read More

KPMG Gender Pay, Promotion and Pregnancy Discrimination Class Action

In June 2011, Class Representative Donna Kassman filed a lawsuit against KPMG to remedy KPMG’s systemic discrimination in pay and promotion, discrimination based on pregnancy, and chronic failure to properly investigate and resolve complaints of discrimination and harassment. Later that same year, the lawsuit was amended to add Named Plaintiffs from around the country who had experienced discrimination similar to what Ms. Kassman had suffered.

Boston Scientific Gender Pay and Promotion Discrimination Class Action

In March 2015, class representatives Denise Fretter and Maria Korsgaard filed a $50 million nationwide class and collective action against the Valencia, CA-based medical device manufacturer, Boston Scientific Neuromodulation Corporation (BSNC), in U.S. District Court for the Central District of California. The Plaintiffs allege systemic violations of the Equal Pay Act, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act and the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act stemming from the company’s treatment of women who worked in its sales force hierarchy.

Garda Gender Discrimination and Sexual Harassment Case

In February 2015, former Vice President of Business Process and Integration Nicole Watson filed a complaint alleging gender discrimination and sexual harassment against Garda, a company that provides armored trucks throughout the United States and touts itself as being a “global leader in comprehensive security and risk management.” The case was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia.