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Bayer HealthCare Pharmaceuticals faces a gender discrimination class action lawsuit from six of its former and present female employees. The lawsuit has been filed in New Jersey federal court and claims $100 million in damages from the defendant pharmaceutical company.
The lawsuit asserts that the plaintiffs were discriminated against by the defendant in salary, promotions, and treatment and not appreciated for their achievements, unlike their male colleagues who got higher salary packages, quick promotions, and rewards for their achievements. The suit claims that annual salaries for two of the plaintiffs were $30,000 less than those of male employees at the same level.
The lawsuit contends that the defendant company is particularly biased against pregnant women and mothers. The suit asserts that the defendant company denies promotions to women employees and rather gives preference to male workers in leadership roles, thus encouraging a male-dominated management team. The suit claims that the defendant fosters a hostile environment for women, where females are discriminated against their male colleagues at every level. The suit claims that the internal company communications point clearly toward the company’s preference for male employees on higher leadership posts. The lawsuit alleges the company of describing female employees as "loose cannons," who are prone to "indecision," "mood swings," and "backstabbing."
The complainants claim that the company denies high-ranking positions to female employees, particularly pregnant women and mothers, and showcases overt hostility toward pregnancy and motherhood. The lawsuit claims that the defendant denies promotions to female employees that had gone on maternity leave. The lawsuit claims that the defendant failed to take any action against a male senior manager for his alleged statement that he must “stop hiring” females of reproductive age.
The plaintiffs claim that the company denied them and "hundreds" of other Bayer female employees adequate pay and promotions despite a history of accomplishments and achievements behind them at the workplace. The plaintiffs assert that the company promoted such a hostile environment to female employees and never took any action against the blatant violation of their rights at the workplace.
The lawsuit seeks class-action status on behalf of all the Bayer female employees who have been working or have worked there at the lower to mid-level management positions since November 21, 2009. The lawsuit asserts that high-ranking Bayer officials, especially those in the male-dominated management team, are hostile toward the success and advancement of women workers, especially if they become pregnant.
The plaintiffs seek $100 million in lost pay, remuneration, declaratory and injunctive relief, lost benefits, and compensatory, punitive and nominal damages. The 12-count lawsuit seeks unspecified damages worth millions of dollars against the pharmaceutical company for alleged violations of the Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Equal Pay Act, and Family and Medical Leave Act. The lawsuit seeks broad reforms at Bayer HealthCare Pharmaceuticals and implementation of new programs to ensure the company follows equal employment practices.
One of the plaintiffs blames her miscarriage on the “undue levels of criticism and hostility,” which she experienced after her promotion as the interim director of a division. Another plaintiff accuses a male vice president of publicly humiliating her and asking the pregnant lady not to use the podium "because her belly was so large" when she started to make a company presentation being a consumer marketing manager.
The lawsuit seeks the company to be an equal opportunity buyer, which would not discriminate against its female employees and offer them equal opportunities similar to their male colleagues. The plaintiffs claim that the defendant profited from their hard work but refused to acknowledge that equitably and failed to pay them back. The lawsuit accuse one manager at Bayer of calling women over 40 “crazy.” The suit alleges that this manager even went to the extent of saying that he would never hire “another woman over 40 again."
Other Gender Bias Lawsuits
The Bayer lawsuit is just one of the numerous gender discrimination suits filed in the country. Of late, there has been a series of sexual discrimination suits at workplace. Renowned companies, including Cigna Corp, Wal-Mart, Toshiba, Goldman Sachs, Novartis, and Costco Wholesale Corporation, have been accused of gender discrimination by their female employees. According to a White House Women in America study, gender equality in the country has not improved much. It has presented startling statistics, which state that women earn 75 percent less than male employees.
Recently, a female employee at Cigna Corp filed a gender discrimination lawsuit against the pharmaceutical company, alleging that she was denied a well-deserved promotion, whereas male employees at lower level were promoted. The plaintiff alleges the defendant of systematically discriminating against women workers and thus violating Title VII of the 1964 US Civil Rights Act by denying women rightful salary hikes.
Earlier this year a senior female human resources manager filed a lawsuit against her employer Toshiba Corp for promoting gender discrimination at the workplace. The lawsuit seeks to represent all female employees who suffered discrimination at the hands of Toshiba in the United States. The lawsuit claims that female employees are denied promotions and channeled into lower paying levels while their male co-workers enjoy frequent promotions and salary hikes.
Last year, Novartis female employees filed a lawsuit against their employer Swiss drugmaker Novartis AG, claiming gender discrimination. The defendant settled to pay $253 million in damages to the plaintiffs.
In 2010, Goldman Sachs was sued by three of its female employees, alleging systemic gender bias at the organization. The plaintiffs claim gender discrimination in pay, promotions against women employees.
In 2001, a gender bias lawsuit was filed against well-renowned Wal-Mart Stores. The lawsuit seeks a class-action status and aims to cover every woman worker at Wal-Mart at any point since December 1998. The lawsuit seeks to represent millions of Wal-Mart female employees and is awaiting Supreme Court ruling on its class-action status. If the Supreme Court allows the lawsuit a class-action certification, it would be the largest class-action employment suit. Female employees at Wal-Mart, including past and present, seek claims for alleged gender discrimination in pay and promotions.
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