NEW YORK, July 5, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Sanford Wittels & Heisler, LLP, a leading public interest law firm, today filed a $100 million gender discrimination lawsuit against New York-based Forest Laboratories, Inc. and Forest Pharmaceuticals, Inc., in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York. Forest Pharmaceuticals is a wholly owned subsidiary of Forest Laboratories.
"Forest has engaged in systematic, company-wide discriminatory treatment of female employees based on their gender and pregnancy," said David Sanford, a partner at Sanford Wittels & Heisler and lead attorney for the plaintiffs. "Forest discriminates against women – particularly those who are pregnant or have family responsibilities – by paying them less than their male counterparts, denying them promotions and limiting their employment opportunities."
The named plaintiffs in the matter are former Forest sales representatives Megan Barrett, Lindsey Houser, Jennifer Jones and Jennifer Seard. The women filed individually and on behalf of the class of similarly situated female employees.
Ms. Barrett and Ms. Houser experienced gender discrimination related to their pregnancies, maternity leaves and caregiving responsibilities as working mothers. Ms. Seard experienced similar discrimination and verbal harassment as a result of her gender and her responsibilities caring for a young son who has epilepsy.
Ms. Jones was subjected to offensive sexist and blatant sexual remarks by Forest's male management, who then threatened to jeopardize her career if she told anyone or raised a complaint with the human resources department.
"To make matters worse, when women raise these concerns with Forest management and Human Resources, Forest completely disregards their concerns and instead blames the women themselves for the discrimination they suffer," said Mr. Sanford. "The discrimination is deeply ingrained in Forest's culture. A class