Two women, former employees of Fort Worth-based ALCON, have filed a lawsuit against their former employer alleging gender discrimination in violation of Title VII and the Equal Pay Act. The two are seeking $110 million, individual relief and company-wide changes to address what the women call “a boy’s club environment and mentality” that marginalizes women in the workplace.
Other women who work at ALCON are also named as plaintiffs in the suit.
Did ALCON Discriminate Against Female Employees?
The press release announcing the lawsuit describes the two women as two of the most talented and ambitious employees at the pharmaceutical company, but claims that their pay did not reflect their merit. Men in similar positions were allegedly paid more and given more favorable assignments and opportunities than the women.
When one of the women began to advocate strongly for equal employment opportunities, including the filing of discrimination charges before the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, she claims that she was unlawfully terminated in retaliation to her efforts.
Under the Equal Pay Act, it is unlawful to allow gender to affect a person’s wages. Under Title VII, it is unlawful to treat an employee unfavorably as a result of that person’s sex. If the courts find in favor of the two women, they could be entitled to punitive damages, including lost wages and benefits, recovery for mental anguish, attorney fees and court costs.
Atkerson Law – Dallas Employment Attorney
Did You Know? In 2013, female full-time workers made only 78 cents for every dollar earned by men, a gender wage gap of 22 percent. (IWPR)