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Jones Day Faces Second Lawsuit For Gender/Pregnancy Discrimination

Jones Day, one of the country’s largest law firms, has been accused by six former female associates of underpaying them, blocking their advancement, and pushing them out after they have children. The firm hires female and male associates in similar numbers, however, once on board, allegedly work assignments are distributed very differently between the genders. Jones Day is accused of assigning the better work to men, providing them with higher pay, and promoting them often. This practice allegedly goes on even if the male attorney’s legal skills are “notably deficient.” One of the named female associates in the lawsuit alleged that when she returned from maternity leave, she received a salary freeze, a negative performance review, and fewer options for work. Once she had her second child, she claims she was told to find a new position.
The associates’ lawsuit includes allegations that: “Jones Day’s fraternity culture presents female attorneys at Jones Day with an unpalatable choice: participate in a culture that is at best inhospitable to women and at worst openly misogynistic or forego any hope of success at the firm.” The women believe that challenging the environment is “career suicide.” The type of conduct purportedly allowed at the firm is that of a “frat-house atmosphere” where drinking is encouraged and male managers “gawk” at female associates. In one specifically alleged incident, a female summer associate was pushed into a pool while wearing a white dress and the male summer associate who pushed her was “applauded and high-fived” by Jones Day management.
The lawsuit seeks $200 million in damages for a class of all female associates who are, have been, or will be employed by Jones Day in the U.S.