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    Posted on July 26th, 2010

    Written by sslates

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    Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation has settled the rest of the gender discrimination claims that were brought against it by thousands of its current and former female employees.  The company has agreed to pay more than $152 million to workers who were employed by company between 2002 and 2007.

    Of the settlement, $60 million is meant to cover back pay.  Besides the $152 million, Novartis will also have to pay an additional $22.5 million for company programs aimed at eliminating discrimination in the workplace.

    That announcement came just a few months after a jury in May awarded a punitive damages verdict against Novartis of $250 million.  The jury had found that the company had discriminated heavily against its female employees.  This discrimination took the form of giving female employees lower pay than male employees, and discriminatory practices during promotions.  It was the largest gender discrimination award in US history against any company.  This new settlement replaces the punitive damages.  In May, a New York court also awarded 17 named plaintiffs and nine testifying witnesses, compensatory damages of $3.4 million.  That is part of the settlement of $152 million announced this week.

    As part of the settlement, Novartis has also agreed to undertake a series of measures as part of a three-year program aimed at the treatment of female employees equally with male employees.  These programs will include revising the company’s sexual harassment policies and bringing in external specialists to identify gender discrimination in the company, and to correct it.

    The settlement has not yet been approved, and it will go before a federal judge in Manhattan soon.  As the largest punitive damages verdict against any company in a gender bias lawsuit, the Novartis discrimination class-action will set a standard for other gender discrimination claims to follow.  The case had been heavily followed by Los Angeles employment law lawyers and corporations across the country.  It also came after a court ruled that a massive gender discrimination class action against Wal-Mart could proceed.

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    This entry was posted on Monday, July 26th, 2010 at 1:25 pm and is filed under lawyer. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.
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