Breast Cancer Survivor Sues Prestigious Law Firm On Grounds of Discrimination
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Breast Cancer Survivor, Elly Rosenthal, sued New York-based law firm Proskauer Rose for $10 million on Wednesday October, 5th 2011. She claims that the prestigious law firm fired her after she received a demotion. The termination took place once she arrived back at the law firm, after her medical leave.

Elly worked for 16 years for the firm, as a Chief Financial Officer (CFO.) Her clients included big time corporations such as professional sports leagues. She stated that she feels “blindsided” for being let go after receiving verbal promises stating that the firm “always had a place for her.” Proskauer Rose informed her that she had three days to leave the premises.


Rosenthal took leave for her two surgeries, and time afterward,  to recover. She kept in contact with the firm, updating them of her whereabouts and what was going on with her health. The chairmen of Proskauer Rose at the time, Allen Fagin, remained loyal to Elly. However, others sought to undermine Rosenthal by squeezing her out the door. It’s pretty much unheard of to see discrimination cases where a lawyer at this level of employment would get treated in such a way as Rosenthal. You see those types of law suits all the time in positions without as much seniority as Rosenthal had at Proskauer.

The law firm, according to the law suit, states that the company tried to force her out with a lower wage offering. David Sanford, one of the lawyers trying Elly’s case, stated that “you should be able to take cancer leave, come back and have your job be the same.” Most companies would agree with Sanford. Even a different job title with the same salary would have been preferable to getting told you were going to receive a lower salary and, by the way, the job you were doing is no longer available. Proskauer Rose, for not giving their support, may wind up having to pay up the $10 million, in order to avoid having their name further drug through the mud.

Proskauer Rose, get this, is one of the leading firms in the nation that fights against employment discrimination. According to Elly, women hold only 15 percent of leadership positions at Proskauer Rose. The rest of the female staff holds positions as secretaries,paralegals and lower level associates.

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Proskauer Rose, in its official statement, denied that females are discriminated in senior positions said this to the “Wall Street Journal’s” law blog “We were disappointed to learn that a former employee, Elly Rosenthal, has filed a suit against the Firm. Any assertion that Ms. Rosenthal’s employment was affected because of her gender, age or claimed disability is meritless. Many of our high-level managerial and administrative positions are held by women over the age of 50 and we have steadfastly supported our colleagues who have suffered illnesses or otherwise needed accommodation related to disability. We regret that Ms. Rosenthal has taken this step but we are confident that our actions will be vindicated by an independent decision maker.”


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