Daiichi Sankyo, Inc. Reps Charge Sex Discrimination

Published: Feb 12, 2013

Yet another drugmaker is being charged with alleged sex discrimination by female employees. The latest instance involves six current and former sales representatives for Daiichi Sankyo, who charge they were subject to discriminatory practices involving pay and promotions, as well as inapproriate conduct in the workplace. The lawsuit, which was filed yesterday in federal court in San Francisco, seeks $100 million and class-action status. “Female sales employees of childbearing age have been cautioned against committing ‘career suicide’ if they decide to become pregnant, take maternity leave, or seek part-time work schedules at Daiichi,” the lawsuit charges. “Women who have been pregnant while working at Daiichi Sankyo have been faced with situations where they were called ‘baby makers;’ forced to attend work meetings in smoke-filled bars while pregnant; subjected to suspect compensation ‘offsets’ after returning from maternity leave; discouraged from breastfeeding, and ‘managed out’ or demoted for complaining about gender discrimination or for becoming pregnant.” The lawsuit comes amid a growing number of such complaints filed against some of the largest drugmakers, especially in the wake of a settlement three years ago in which Novartis agreed to pay $152.5 million to several female reps. Last year, lawsuits were filed against Forest Laboratories and Pfizer. Two years ago, AstraZeneca agreed to pay $250,000 to 124 women who were subjected to pay discrimination and a class action lawsuit was filed alleging that Bayer HealthCare Pharmaceuticals discriminated against female employees.

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