Six female attorneys have filed a class action lawsuit against the international law firm, Jones Day, headquartered in Cleveland, Ohio. In 2016, the firm generated nearly $2 billion in revenue. The female lawyers’ lawsuit seeks $200 million in damages, alleging the firm discriminated against women, especially pregnant women and mothers. All the women are former associates at Jones Day. The class action lawsuit, filed in a Washington, D.C. federal court, represents all former and future female employees of the firm.
The lawsuit alleged that male attorneys at Jones Day earned higher salaries than their female counterparts, even if their legal skills were inferior. The suit stated that male lawyers were given more opportunity for advancement than female colleagues. It is assumed by Jones Day management that should a woman get pregnant, they are not as committed to their jobs after having babies, according to the suit.
The lawsuit described a frat house atmosphere at the firm. At holiday parties, male attorneys encouraged heavy drinking, and gawked at female associates who danced at such events. At one office, a partner hosted a summer associate event at his home. Allegedly, an associate wearing a white dress was pushed into a swimming pool, after which the male associate who pushed her was not reprimanded by managers present, but was high-fived.
Four of the women filing the lawsuit are anonymous, but two named in the suit previously worked at Jones Day in Irvine, California. One woman claimed after she returned from her first maternity leave, she was subjected to a salary freeze, few work opportunities, and negative employee reviews. When she returned from her second maternity leave, she was told to seek employment elsewhere. The other named lawyer claimed a male partner subjected her to sexual harassment and verbal abuse after she took a weekend off for health purposes. She also alleged her mentorship opportunities were denied. She claimed that she was forced to leave the firm in 2018.
The complaint stated that a female lawyer cannot succeed at Jones Day unless she was willing to tolerate the stereotyped expectation of the male power brokers. If a woman challenged any of these stereotypes, she was committing career suicide, according to the complaint. The complaint referred to the Jones Day culture as at best inhospitable to female lawyers, and at worst, openly misogynistic.
If you or a loved one experienced gender discrimination or harassment in the workplace, you need the services of the experienced Long Branch employment lawyers at Fox & Melofchik, L.L.C. Call us today at 732-493-9400 or complete an online form to set up a free initial consultation.
Our Eatontown, New Jersey offices proudly serve clients throughout Monmouth County, Ocean County, Middlesex County, Mercer County, Asbury Park, Neptune, Long Branch, Keansburg, Ocean Township, Eatontown, Red Bank, Middletown, Colts Neck, Deal, Freehold, Holmdel, Jackson, Little Silver, Marlboro, and Rumson.