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Sales reps file class action lawsuit over gender discrimination

Earlier this week on our San Diego employment law blog, we had mentioned that the wage gap between men and women in the workplace still exists today, even though the Equal Pay Act was passed 50 years ago.

Some have argued that the wage gap doesn't necessarily reflect discriminatory practices in the U.S. since many high-paying jobs are available in industries in which jobs are mainly held by men and geared towards men due to the nature of the work. This may certainly contribute to a wage gap between men and women, but this does not mean that discriminatory practices are non-existent.

In some workplaces, women are still being paid less than men even though they do the same jobs and have similar qualifications and experience. Just this week, a class action lawsuit was filed in San Francisco against a pharmaceutical company that employs about 3,000 people in the U.S. The lawsuit claims that Daiichi Sankyo discriminates against female workers and pays them less compared to male employees who do the same work.

The class action lawsuit is being filed by six women who either currently work as sales representatives for the company or used to work as sales reps for the company. By pursuing legal action, the women hope to put an end to the company's discriminatory practices.

The plaintiffs claim that their employer has discriminated against hundreds of female employees. Women have been called "baby makers" for being pregnant and raising families. Female sales reps also are not promoted as quickly as male sales reps are, the lawsuit states. And male sales reps tend to make more money than female workers, the complaint argues.

The women are seeking $100 million in damages for all female workers who have been harmed by the company's discriminatory practices.

Source: The Associated Press, "Female sales reps: Daiichi Sankyo discriminates," Linda A. Johnson, Feb. 11, 2013

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