The Novartis Pharmaceuticals gender discrimination lawsuit was settled with a $152.5 million agreement, even though a jury had earlier awarded the plaintiffs $250 million. Unlike the jury settlement, no appeals or challenges will affect the amount of the settlement. Jury awards in gender discrimination lawsuits are often subject to appeals.
The settlement will provide $60 million in back pay and $40 million in compensatory damages to 5,600 current and former employees. Named plaintiffs and the women who testified will receive additional damages.
Witnesses in the Novartis gender discrimination lawsuit described how pregnant sales employees had their careers derailed, or were pressured into taking shorter maternity leave and working during their leave.
Novartis denied in the settlement that the discrimination women faced was part of company-wide policies. However, the company will spend $22.5M on improving company policies and training worldwide, as well as on revising its performance review procedures. As part of the gender discrimination lawsuit settlement, Novartis will also hire an outside company to evaluate pay disparities between male and female employees.
The plaintiffs’ attorneys will receive about $40.1 million of the Novartis gender discrimination lawsuit settlement money, pending approval from the judge. The suit was originally filed by Amy Velez and four other women in 2004.
For more on gender discrimination lawsuits and reasons why cases end in settlements, turn to SettlementBoard.com.
Information in this post gathered in association with a San Diego criminal attorney