Sanford Heisler Files $100m+ Class Action Complaint Against Daiichi Sankyo

  Sanford Heisler Files $100m+ Class Action Complaint Against Daiichi Sankyo

Gender Discrimination Persists Against Female Sales Professionals at
Japanese-based Pharmaceutical Drug Giant, Daiichi Sankyo, Inc.

PR Newswire

SAN FRANCISCO, Feb. 11, 2013

SAN FRANCISCO, Feb. 11, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Today, six current and former
female pharmaceutical sales professionals filed a $100 million class and
collective action gender discrimination lawsuit against Daiichi Sankyo in the
U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California. Represented by
Sanford Heisler, LLP, a civil rights law firm that has successfully litigated
class action cases in the industry, these women seek to end pervasive gender
discrimination in their workplace on behalf of themselves and a class of
several hundred female Daiichi Sankyo sales professionals who have worked for
the company in the United States. 

Daiichi Sankyo is the U.S. branch of Daiichi Sankyo Company, Ltd., a
Japan-based pharmaceutical giant that employs approximately 3,000 people in
the United States. In 2010, Daiichi Sankyo reported sales of more than $2.6
billion in North America.

The Complaint alleges that Daiichi Sankyo pays female sales employees less
than male employees for doing the same work; promotes or advances female sales
employees at a slower rate than male sales employees; treats pregnant
employees and working mothers of young children adversely compared to
non-pregnant employees, male employees, or non-caregivers; and subjects women
to other discriminatory terms and conditions of employment.

"Female pharmaceutical sales employees, including the Plaintiffs, have been
cautioned against committing 'career suicide' if they choose to have children
while working for Daiichi Sankyo," said Janette Wipper, a San Francisco-based
Partner at Sanford Heisler and lead attorney on the matter. "Daiichi Sankyo's
female sales reps have also been called 'baby-makers' while pregnant, required
to attend meetings in smoke-filled rooms during their pregnancies, and
received suspect reductions in compensation after returning from maternity
leaves. Women who have dared to complain about the unequal treatment have
been summarily 'managed out' of the company."

According to the Complaint, a discrete group of predominantly male Daiichi
executives and senior sales managers keep a tight rein on employment
decisions, including decisions regarding sales employees' compensation,
advancement, and other terms and conditions of employment. Through this male
dominated leadership structure, the Company has approved and implemented
policies, practices and decisions that have systemically discriminated against
female employees.

"Daiichi Sankyo's systemic discriminatory actions span the gamut of prohibited
employment practices," said Felicia Medina, Senior Litigation Counsel at
Sanford Heisler's San Francisco office. "The Company's behavior, as detailed
in the Complaint, reads like a primer on how not to treat female employees,
particularly those who are pregnant or have caregiving responsibilities for
infants. Plaintiffs' experiences illustrate the lengths Daiichi Sankyo goes
to ensure that women remain in their 'place,' especially women who avail
themselves of the Company's so-called 'flexible work schedule' when they are
expecting a child or caring for their newborns."

The Plaintiffs cite Daiichi Sankyo's violations of Title VII of the Civil
Rights Act of 1964 and the federal Equal Pay Act of 1963, as well as the
California Fair Employment and Housing Act, the California Equal Pay Act and
the California Unfair Business Practices Act in today's Complaint.

"As a consequence of this Company's continuous discriminatory conduct, the
Plaintiffs and the class are entitled to all legal and equitable remedies
available for violations of these laws, especially much needed programmatic
change within the Company to ensure that going forward women – including women
with children – are provided equal employment opportunities at Daiichi," said
Ms. Wipper.

About Sanford Heisler, LLP

Sanford Heisler is a law firm with offices in Washington, D.C., New York, and
San Francisco that specializes in employment discrimination, wage and hour,
qui tam and complex class action litigation. The firm has represented
thousands of individuals in major class action and individual cases in the
United States. In May 2010, the firm won the largest jury award in the U.S.
in a gender discrimination employment class action when a jury returned a
verdict of $253 million in compensatory and punitive damages against Novartis
Pharmaceuticals Corporation. In 2012, the firm won court approval to settle a
wage and hour case on behalf of sales representatives employed by Novartis
Pharmaceuticals for $99 million. For more information, contact Sanford
Heisler at (415) 795-2020.

For more information, contact Jamie Moss, newsPRos, 201-788-0142,
Jamie@newspros.com;
Jamie Baum, 847-502-3825, jsb@newspros.com

SOURCE Sanford Heisler, LLP
 
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