US Novartis arm smacked with $110 million gender discrimination class action
- A Texas-based arm of pharmaceutical giant Novartis, Alcon Laboratories, is facing a $110 million gender discrimination lawsuit claiming that the Novartis division has routinely denied female employees equal pay and promotional opportunities.
- Five years ago, Novartis faced another gender discrimination class-action lawsuit in which the company was forced to pay out more than $250 million.
- The legal basis of this suit is violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits gender discrimination by employers, and the U.S. Equal Pay Act.
Considering the $250 million payout that Novartis faced in 2010, one would think that Novartis would have policies in place to ensure that women are treated fairly and equally. However, Alcon Labs, which is based in Texas and part of Novartis, has been accused of "maintaining a boy's club atmosphere."
The two plaintiffs, Elyse Dickerson and Susan Orr, have complained about being denied career-enhancing opportunities, while also being paid less than men in similar jobs, with similar levels of professional accomplishment and performance.
The plaintiffs are represented by the national class action law firm Sanford Heisler Kimpel. The case is Dickerson v. Novartis Corp., U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, No. 1:15-cv-1980.