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20 June 2018 at 09:31 BST

Jones Day slapped with gender discrimination suit by former partner

A former partner alleges violations of the California Labor Code, citing 'black box' pay structure and firm's support for President Trump.

Trump has Jones Day support, suit alleges Shutterstock

Jones Day former partner Wendy Moore, now a partner at Perkins Coie, filed a complaint against the firm for gender discrimination and retaliation.  Sanford Heisler Sharp filed a Private Attorneys General Act (PAGA) representative action lawsuit against Jones Day on behalf of partner Wendy Moore and other California female lawyers at Jones Day. The action was filed in California Superior Court for San Francisco County.

‘Black box’

In the complaint, Ms Moore alleges that Jones Day operates as a fraternity, in which men mentor and advantage other men, ultimately resulting in men being paid more. Ms Moore claims that Jones Day's ‘black-box’ compensation system and subjective performance reviews are designed to hide pervasive pay discrimination against women. She voiced concerns about the firm's 'systemic gender discrimination' at the beginning of 2018, and claims that in retaliation the firm slashed her hours, forbade her from working with a powerful male partner, and, when she sought to hire counsel, the firm terminated her employment. Moore has filed her Complaint under California's PAGA, which authorises employees to sue and recover civil penalties on behalf of themselves, and other employees and further imposes strict penalties for retaliation.

Trump support

Ms Moore was a partner at Jones Day for more than four years. Had had more than 14 years of experience at other elite law firms. According to the claim, Ms Moore resigned her position as hiring partner because she felt she could not be transparent with female recruits about their compensation, prospects for advancement, and the firm's culture. The complaint alleges ‘female law students were unambiguously stating in their interviews with Jones Day that the firm's express support for Mr Trump and its black-box compensation model left female attorneys behind.’ The complaint alleges that, in response to Ms Moore's concerns as hiring partner, ‘the Firmwide Chair of Recruiting and a member of the Firm's Diversity & Inclusion Task Force, Sharyl Reisman, directed Ms Moore to tone down her criticism, lest she provoke a negative response from Firm management.’ After Ms Moore's termination, the complaint alleges that Jones Day clawed back money from her personal bank account that it had paid for work that she had already performed.


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