Novartis pharmaceutical company has agreed to pay as much as $152.5 million to settle a gender-discrimination class action brought by female workers.  The settlement, which was filed in federal court in Manhattan on July 14, 2010, follows a May 19 jury verdict in the case awarding $250 million in punitive damages to a group of 5,600 employees.  The terms of this agreement ensure that every woman who worked at Novartis over the past eight years has been compensated fairly.  Novartis has also agreed to revise its sexual harassment policies and training, strengthen its employee complaint process, hire an outside specialist to help it identify gender pay disparities in the company and revise its performance management process.  The settlement must be approved by the judge overseeing the case before it can take effect.  Full Article

The suit was filed in 2004 by Amy Velez and four other women who claimed they faced discrimination over pay and promotion and for pregnancy.  Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 makes it illegal to discriminate against someone on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, or sex.  Sex discrimination involves treating someone (an applicant or employee) unfavorably because of that person’s sex.  The law forbids discrimination when it comes to any aspect of employment, including hiring, firing, pay, job assignments, promotions, layoff, training, fringe benefits, and any other term or condition of employment.  Please visit the EEOC’s website for further information: www.eeoc.gov/policy/vii.html.

Leeds Morelli & Brown, PC is a nationally recognized firm in the area of employment law.  Our firm has had considerable success in matters of employment discrimination throughout Long Island and the New York City area.  For more information, contact Leeds, Morelli and Brown, PC at 1-800-585-4658 for a free consultation.