Novartis Must Pay Punitive Damages in Class Action Discrimination Suit

Due to a systematic pattern of discrimination against its female employees, Novartis Corp. must pay more than $3 million in compensation to 12 women, a jury in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York ruled on May 18th. However, these 12 women are a mere fraction of those represented in this class action suit. "The verdict supports the claims of 5,600 women," Davis Sanford, the plaintiffs' lawyer, told Bloomberg Tuesday.

According to Sanford, gender bias is not a new concern. "Novartis has been involved in systemic discrimination since 2002," he told Bloomberg. The women claim Novartis discouraged pregnancies, ignored sexual harassment complaints and passed over qualified women for promotion, choosing instead less-qualified men.

Chelsea Hennessy

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