In recent news, Ogletree Law Firm was accused of gender pay gap in connection with a $300 million lawsuit. The case is all the more interesting because Ogletree Law Firm specializes in defending companies against this type of lawsuit.
How did they end up as a Defendant? It started with Dawn Knepper, California employment lawyer, transferred to the Orange County office in 2012. She requested equal or greater pay in comparison to a male associate with similar seniority whom she had surpassed in both billable hours and new business leads. Rather than agree to her requirement, the firm paid her about $100,000 less than what the male associate was being paid.
This led to one of the claims in Knepper’s l$300 million gender discrimination lawsuit citing Ogletree Deakins as the Defendant. According to Knepper, the firm is male dominated with the majority of decision makers being male and the culture one that fosters the marginalization of women. She also accused the firm of supporting a work culture that demeans and undervalues women.
The website for the firm boasts diversity and equality in their workforce, but Knepper’s suit claims that approximately 80% of equity partners at the firm are men and that the situation means fewer opportunities and lower pay for female associates. She filed her proposed class action complaint against the firm (with more than 700 attorneys throughout the US) was filed on January 12, 2018.
Ogletree insists that they have always kept equal opportunity as a core value at the firm and that they in no way tolerate discrimination of any kind. They also claim that half the firm’s employees are female and that 2 of the 4 elected members of its compensation committee are also women. They went even further to claim that many of their most successful attorneys are women.
If you feel you are being unfairly treated in the workplace, if you are the victim of a gender pay gap or you need assistance obtaining filing a proposed class action lawsuit, please contact an experienced California employment law attorney at Blumenthal Nordrehaug Bhowmik De Blouw LLP.