Daiichi Sankyo Gender Discrimination Class Action

Case name: Wellens, et al. v. Daiichi Sankyo, Inc.

Case type: Gender Discrimination

Filed in: [United States District Court for the Northern District of California]

Docket: [Case no.: 3:13-cv-00581]

Case Summary

In February 2013, Sanford Heisler Sharp filed a class and collective action against the multi-national drug company Daiichi Sankyo (“Daiichi”) on behalf of current and former female pharmaceutical sales professionals, alleging violations of the federal Equal Pay Act, the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”), and the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

Class Representatives for the Plaintiffs were all Daiichi employees based in California.

The Complaint alleged that a “glass ceiling” existed at Daiichi for its thousands of female sales representatives. According to the Complaint, female sales employees were subjected to discriminatory practices in pay, promotion, and pregnancy.

In May 2014, the Court granted conditional certification of a collective action under the Equal Pay Act, 29 U.S.C. § 201 et seq., the first in the Ninth Circuit. Following this, notice was sent to nearly 1,400 current and former female pharmaceutical sales professionals.

In August 2015, the parties agreed to settle the lawsuit for $8.2 million in damages. Daiichi also agreed to programmatic relief, including requiring its leadership to receive anti-discrimination training, and allowing promotions and salary merit increases for employees on leave, including maternity leave.

The amount of the Class Settlement was recognized as 2015’s fifth-highest settlement of a private plaintiff employment discrimination class action lawsuit in Seyfarth Shaw’s “12th Annual Workplace Class Action Litigation Report.”

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