Alleged Gender Bias Amid Jones Day Fraternity Culture Leads to Lawsuit

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A former partner at Jones Day sued the firm recently alleging that they treat women as “second class citizens” and indulge in a fraternity culture with rampant gender bias. The gender bias lawsuit was filed in California court and outlines a workplace culture where men are given preferential treatment. The plaintiff further claims that she was fired for speaking out about the situation.

Wendy Moore, attorney and former partner at Jones Day firm, alleged that the firm promotes a “boy’s club” or what she frequently referred to as a fraternity culture. In said fraternity culture, the plaintiff claims that male partners hold the majority of management and other leaderships positions at the firm. She also claimed that male partners (and therefore the majority of the managers and others in leadership positions) provided more support and mentoring for other men at the firm. Women were not offered the same opportunities.

Allegedly, the firm discouraged attorneys from discussing pay rates. The plaintiff also claims that the firm relied on a subjective performance evaluation system the she claims favored male attorneys at the firm. The firm’s pay practices allegedly allowed Jones Day firm to pay females less than their male counterparts.

Moore, plaintiff in the case, claims that speaking about the boys’ club culture and the gender pay inequality led to workplace retaliation. She also claims that her discrimination complaints were not addressed. She claims that the firm eventually terminated her stating they had “cause,” despite the fact that Moore had a stellar client service record as well as recognition from outside sources for her high quality of work.

Moore started working at the firm in early 2013 as a partner – it was a lateral hire. She worked as an equity and executive compensation attorney out of the Jones Day Palo Alto, California office. In 2015, she was promoted to hiring partner for the Silicon Valley and San Francisco offices. She received high praise for recruiting one of the “best classes Jones Day (NorCal) ever had,” according to Moore’s complaint. She claims that despite being a partner at Jones Day, she was regularly paid less than male attorneys at the firm. In fact, according to the complaint, Moore was at one point paid less a male sixth-year associate even though she was a sixth-year partner at the time.

If you have questions regarding a gender bias workplace or if you are experiencing retaliation in the workplace, please get in touch with one of the experienced California employment law attorneys at Blumenthal Nordrehaug Bhowmik De Blouw LLP.