Dawn Knepper, nonequity shareholder at Ogletree Deakens, is using the California's Private Attorneys Act to file a gender discrimination lawsuit which seeks class action status. That Act allows employees to bypass the mandatory arbitration imposed by their employer.
Knepper is represented by employment superlawyer David Sanford of Sanford Heisler Sharp.
As Ben Hancock in The Recorder reports, Knepper contends that through formal and informal policies, Ogletree:
- Interferes or downright prevents female shareholders from receiving adequate credit for the business they generate
- In target compensation and bonuses, females receive about $110,000 less than males.
Here is a copy of the complaint.
Ogletree is represented by Nancy Abell of Paul Hastings.
Because Ogletree is a labor and employment law firm, this lawsuit could become more high profile than the gender discrimination one originally filed against Chadbourne & Parke by Kerrie Campbell. That evolved into a class action. Sanford also represents Campbell.
Many recall that for an employee to sue a law firm was unthinkable. Then, in 2007, fourth-year associate Aaron Charney filed a lawsuit against Sullivan & Cromwell over alleged discrimination against sexual orientation.
At the time, many assumed he was committing career suicide. However, the case settled and Charney went on to land a job in another BigLaw firm.
Third-wave feminism could leverage Knepper as a symbol of how gender discrimination allegedly plays out in the legal sector.
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