Microsoft Acknowledges Gender Imbalance in Tech Industry Even as it Fights Discrimination Claims

Microsoft Acknowledges Gender Imbalance in Tech Industry Even as it Fights Discrimination Claims

In the midst of squaring off against more than 8,600 former and current female employees in a class action lawsuit based on claims of systemic and pervasive discrimination, Microsoft Corp. admits in its filed response to the lawsuit that the company is “keenly aware of gender imbalance in the tech industry.” However, the company goes on to argue that a lawsuit – where the company could face a verdict assigning it significant liability for its actions – is not the right arena in which to address the problem. [Read more…]

Wall Street Often Left Unaccountable for Workplace Sexual Harassment – Is the System Rigged?

Wall Street Often Left Unaccountable for Workplace Sexual Harassment – Is the System Rigged?

Despite numerous women coming forward with workplace sexual harassment claims against male counterparts, there is one industry where senior executives seem to be left without any accountability for their misconduct – finance. And some women think enough is enough. The financial industry appears to spawn just as many cases of discrimination, harassment, abuse and assault as other industries, but the wealthy and powerful men of Wall Street don’t appear to suffer for their wrongdoing. [Read more…]

Lieff Cabraser Lawyers Pitch In On ‘Time’s Up,’ New Legal Initiative Created To Combat Sexual Harassment

New Legal Defense Fund Created To Combat Sexual Harassment

300 prominent actresses, female agents, writers, directors, producers, and entertainment executives have joined forces to fight systemic sexual harassment in Hollywood and beyond in blue-collar workplaces across the nation. The new initiative, called Time’s Up, includes funding for legal representation which will be coordinated and administered by the National Women’s Law Center’s Legal Network for Gender Equity. Lawyers interested in joining the NWLC’s Gender Equity effort can sign up here. Lieff Cabraser attorneys Kelly Dermody, Rachel Geman, Anne Shaver, Michelle Lamy, and Tiseme Zegeye have all joined the project in a concerted effort to combat sexual harassment, discrimination, and abuse in the workplace. [Read more…]

Anne Shaver to Speak at 35th Annual National Continuing Legal Education Conference

Anne Shaver to Speak at 35th Annual National Continuing Legal Education Conference

Lieff Cabraser partner Anne B. Shaver will be speaking at the 35th Annual National CLE Labor and Employment Conference from January 3-7, 2018 at the Vail Mountain Marriott Resort in Colorado. Ms. Shaver will be featured as a distinguished panelist, presenting on “Telecommuting as a Reasonable Accommodation” from 7:30-8:00am on Saturday, January 6. [Read more…]

Seeking an End to Forced Arbitration in Sexual Harassment Cases

Seeking an End to Forced Arbitration in Sexual Harassment Cases

On December 6, sexual harassment survivor and former Fox News host Gretchen Carlson joined several members of Congress in unveiling new legislation restoring the rights of sexual harassment survivors to hold their workplace abusers publicly accountable in court. Although workplace sexual harassment violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, corporations use forced arbitration provisions in employment contracts and handbooks to silence women and cover-up the illegal behavior of abusers. This bipartisan, bicameral legislation aims to restore workers’ rights by putting an end to the abusive practice of forced arbitration in workplace sex discrimination claims and ensuring every survivor of sexual harassment has a chance to fight for justice in court. [Read more…]

Connecticut Jury Finds Tech Support Workers Were “Willfully” Underpaid By Computer Sciences Corporation

Tech Support Workers Willfully Underpaid By Computer Sciences Corporation

Class Action Lawsuit Accused Leading Multinational IT Provider of Failing to Pay Overtime to Systems Administrators

NEW HAVEN, CT – A federal jury ruled late Wednesday that Computer Sciences Corporation (CSC), which recently merged with Hewlett Packard Enterprise Services to form DXC Technology (NYSE: DXC), wrongly and willfully denied overtime pay to approximately 1,000 current and former technology support workers around the country. After deliberating over two days, the Connecticut jury unanimously rejected CSC’s claim that its System Administrators in the “Associate Professional” and “Professional” job titles are exempt under federal, Connecticut and California law, ruling instead that the workers should have been classified as nonexempt and paid overtime. The jury found CSC’s violations to be willful, triggering additional damages. The misclassifications were made despite the fact that, in 2005, CSC paid $24 million to settle similar claims from a previous group of technical support workers. [Read more…]

Documents Unsealed in Microsoft Gender Class Action Highlight Failing Struggle to Combat Sex Discrimination

Gender Discrimination

Docs shed new light on the company’s struggle to deal with reports of harassment and on internal debates over whether women are treated fairly in pay, promotions

The discovery and document review process in Lieff Cabraser’s ongoing gender discrimination lawsuit against Microsoft has led to the release of a trove of internal files providing detailed information on harassment reports within Microsoft, as well as the company’s actions in responding to such reports. Unsettlingly, the data includes an intern’s rape complaints that, despite formal police reports and a “prompt internal investigation,” led to the intern being required to keep working alongside her alleged rapist or lose a coveted position at the company. [Read more…]

AAJ Report: Worst Corporate Conduct of 2017

AAJ Report: Worst Corporate Conduct of 2017

The American Association for Justice (AAJ) has published “Worst Corporate Conduct of 2017,” a report detailing “this year’s worst corporate offenders, the aggressive corporate culture plaguing in the United States, and the need for a strong civil justice system to ensure consumers and workers can hold corporations accountable and deter corporate misconduct.” [Read more…]

Kelly Dermody in USA Today on Best Steps for Reporting Sexual Harassment

Kelly Dermody Talks to USA Today on Best Steps for Reporting Sexual Harassment

USA Today has published an article on the steps employees should take in the event of experiencing sexual harassment or sexual assault in the workplace. The piece provides useful information to victims of inappropriate and harmful sexual behavior, and in light of variances between employers, laws, and states, USA Today consulted with lawyers to provide the best possible guidance. [Read more…]

223 Women Working in National Security Sign Open Letter on Sexual Harassment

Sexual harassment

“This is not just a problem in Hollywood, Silicon Valley, newsrooms or Congress.”

223 current and former female national security workers have signed an open letter saying that they “have survived sexual harassment and assault or know someone who has experienced it.” The list includes current and former diplomats, servicemembers, development workers, and civil servants, and calls for mandatory training and outside data collection on how often sexual harassment occurs, as well as stronger reporting. “This is not just a problem in Hollywood, Silicon Valley, newsrooms or Congress. These abuses are born of imbalances of power and environments that permit such practices while silencing and shaming their survivors.” [Read more…]

Kelly Dermody in the New Yorker on The Tech Industry’s Gender Discrimination Problem

Kelly Dermody in the New Yorker on The Tech Industry's Gender Discrimination Problem

The New Yorker has published a lengthy examination of sex and gender discrimination in the tech industry. Amidst multiple new lawsuits including those filed by Lieff Cabraser against companies like Google, the national media and wider conversations are turning more and more to what will hopefully be a watershed time in bringing long-overdue equality to one of the most important and high-value industries in the world. [Read more…]

U.S. Law Firms Setting the Standard for LGBTQ Workplace Equality and Inclusion

U.S. Law Firms Setting the Standard for LGBTQ Workplace Equality and Inclusion

Nearly 80% of law firms in the United States have earned top scores and are setting a new standard for LGBTQ workplace equality and inclusion, announced the Human Rights Campaign (“HRC”). The legal field has earned the highest rate of any industry, scoring almost perfectly on the equality benchmark with top-tier inclusion efforts. [Read more…]

Lieff Cabraser Attorneys Featured at 11th Annual Labor and Employment Law Conference

Lieff Cabraser Attorneys Featured at 11th Annual Labor and Employment Law Conference

Lieff Cabraser attorneys Kelly M. Dermody and Anne B. Shaver will be featured at the American Bar Association’s 11th Annual Labor and Employment Law Conference running from November 8-11, 2017 in Washington DC. On Thursday, November 9th, Ms. Dermody will be co-moderating a panel titled “Meet the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission: An Insider’s Perspective,” while on Friday November 9th Ms. Shaver will participate in the panel discussion “Intersectionality and Discrimination Claims Involving Multiple Categories.” [Read more…]

Microsoft Gender Bias Case Seeks Class Action Status for 8,600 New Plaintiffs

Microsoft Gender Bias Case Seeks Class Action Status for 8,600 New Plaintiffs

With co-counsel, Lieff Cabraser represents three female current and former tech professionals suing Microsoft Corp. for gender discrimination who are seeking class action status for their suit to bring in an additional 8,630 female Microsoft workers who have been employed by the company since 2012. [Read more…]

Kelly Dermody in The Daily Journal: Google Gender Discrimination Case Sheds Light on Industry-Wide Problems

Kelly Dermody in The Daily Journal: Google Gender Discrimination Case Sheds Light on Industry-Wide Problems

Widespread media attention has focused on the recently-filed Google gender discrimination lawsuit, which alleges that tech giant Google has engaged in multiple pay and promotion violations, as well as the illegal occupational segregation of female employees in California. [Read more…]

Kelly Dermody Discusses Pay Disclosure & Transparency at 2017 Transatlantic Employment Law Conference

Kelly Dermody Discusses Pay Disclosure & Transparency at 2017 Transatlantic Employment Law Conference

Lieff Cabraser partner Kelly M. Dermody is speaking today at the Employment Lawyers Association’s (ELA) Fifth Transatlantic Conference in London, England. She will be appearing on the panel “Pay Disclosure and Transparency.” The panel will address transparency, employee pay equity, and the reporting obligations of employers to authorities, shareholders, and the general public. Kelly and the other panelists will discuss these matters from both a UK and US perspective. [Read more…]

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Google Sued in Class Action Alleging Sex Discrimination

Gender discrimination

Complaint Charges Google with Multiple Pay and Promotion Violations, Illegal Occupational Segregation of Female Employees
San Francisco, California (September 14, 2017) – Attorneys James M. Finberg of Altshuler Berzon LLP and Kelly M. Dermody of Lieff Cabraser Heimann & Bernstein, LLP, announce that a lawsuit filed today in San Francisco Superior Court alleges that Google has engaged in systemic and pervasive pay and promotion discrimination against its female employees in California. [Read more…]