A number of former Jones Day female associates filed a putative class action against the enormous law firm seeking to recover over $200 million for pregnancy and gender discrimination. The suit alleged that Jones Day systematically underpaid women and devalued the work of female associates. The suit also alleged that the law firm pushed out lawyers who have children.
The suit alleges that the law firm has a fraternity-like culture where male attorneys get the lion’s share of advancement and business development opportunities while women lawyers end up getting short shrift on pay and promotions in comparison to their male peers. Additionally, the plaintiffs allege in the complaint that Jones Day operates with a presumption that female lawyers who have kids “have chosen family over work” and ultimately pushes them out as it similarly does with women who express concerns internally about the firm’s practices.
The pay discrimination claims are largely centered around the firm’s so-called black box compensation system, in which managing partner Stephen J. Brogan personally signs off on all associates’ compensation decisions. That practice gives him a great amount of autonomy over how much money they earn and whether they are elevated to the partner ranks, they alleged.
The case is Nilab Rahyar, Tolton et al. v. Jones Day, case number 1:19-cv-945, in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia.
This blog is intended to provide information to the general public and to practitioners about developments that may impact Oregon class actions.