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Daiichi Sankyo hit with gender, pregnancy discrimination lawsuit

February 15, 2013

Howard Law's Santa Ana, California employment lawyers blog recently discussed the topic of pregnancy discrimination in the California workplace, after Oprah Winfrey's high profile OWN Network was sued recently by a former employee, who claims that she experienced sex and pregnancy discrimination while working for the network.

This week, Vincent Howard has been following another California gender discrimination lawsuit, filed against Daiichi Sankyo, the Japanese pharmaceutical company. The $100 million class action gender and pregnancy discrimination lawsuit was filed by six former and current female sales representatives from the Japanese company's U.S. headquarters--who claim that the drug maker discriminates against women by paying them less than men for performing the same work, promoting women in the company more slowly than male employees, and treating pregnant employees or female employees with children less favorably than other male employees.

The complaint states that Daiichi Sankyo counts on the predominately female sales force to make multibillion dollar profits, by using the attractive female representatives as part of their marketing and sales strategy--relying on them to persuade doctors to choose the company's drug brands. Daiichi allegedly asks the female sales reps to take male doctors out for drinks and dinner, and offer gifts and friendships, devoting time and attention to nurture relationships with doctors in an effort to secure their allegiance to the brands. The lawsuit claims that when female sales reps seek promotions or have children, they hit a glass ceiling within the company--as male employees hold nearly all of the management positions in the United States, controlling all decisions on promotions, salary increases and job terminations.

According to the gender discrimination lawsuit, Daiichi warned female sales reps that if they got pregnant, requested maternity leave or sought part-time work schedules within the company after having a baby, they would be committing 'career suicide'. The employees claim that they were subjected to gender and pregnancy discrimination, such as being forced to attend meetings in bars that were smoke filled during pregnancy, being called derogatory names like 'baby makers,' discouraged from breastfeeding, subjected to compensation offsets that were suspect after returning from maternity leave, and demoted in retaliation after complaining about gender or pregnancy discrimination.

The six former and current female employees are seeking class action status for the lawsuit, and are asking for over $100 million in damages, adjustment of back pay and wages, lost benefits and the right to equal employment opportunities. The lawsuit is also asking for an injunction to bar against future discrimination, and for the company to implement a policy that provides women with equal employment opportunities within the company.

The female sales representatives reportedly filed this lawsuit to put an end to the employment discrimination for themselves along with several hundred other female employees who work for the U.S. branch of the Japanese company.

In cities throughout Orange County, California and Southern California, contact Vincent Howard and our labor and employment attorneys at Howard Law, PC today.

Female sales reps: Daiichi Sankyo discriminates, Associated Press, Feb. 11, 2013

Drugmaker Daiichi Sankyo hit with gender discrimination lawsuit from US employees, The Japan Daily Press, February 12, 2013

Related Web Resources:

Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, (EEOC)

Facts About Pregnancy Discrimination, (EEOC)

Pregnancy Discrimination, (EEOC)

U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, (EEOC)

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