On Monday, an ex-Greenberg Traurig shareholder filed a $200 million gender discrimination suit in the New York federal court, seeking class-action status and alleging that the Florida firm underpays female lawyers and it is run by an “old boys club.”
The lawsuit alleged that the all-male compensation committee of Greenberg Traurig makes “compensation decisions based on archaic assumptions that men were responsible for financially supporting a family.”
In her 52-page complaint, Griesing submitted that she was seeking to represent a class of 215 other current and former female Greenberg Traurig shareholders. She sought a jury trial and reform of the policies of the law firm.
The former Greenberg Traurig attorney, Francine Friedman Griesing alleged violation of the federal Equal Pay Act that prohibits wage disparity based upon gender.
Greenberg Traurig immediately responded with a petition to block a jury trial and have the matter dealt by confidential arbitration.
Hillary Bass, a current female Greenberg-Traurig shareholder said that Griesing’s lawsuit was a publicity stunt and that Greenberg Traurig has “an exemplary record of fairness and advancement irrespective of gender, race or creed.”
However, in the lawsuit, Griesing alleged that Michael Lehr, a member of the compensation committee, when once questioned about her pitiful bonus in 2009, had commented that men had families to support, while she did not need the money. The lawsuit also alleges that Lehr had admitted that Greenberg Traurig had underpaid her by more than $200,000 since 2007 – the year of her joining the law firm.