Women File Class Action Against Bayer for Gender Discrimination
It looks like Wal-Mart isn’t the only company under fire for engaging in discrimination against its female employees. Recently, 6 women filed a class action against Bayer for gender discrimination.
According to the women filing the class action suit, Bayer published an “Executive News Summary” article in October 2010, where it referred to women as “the fairer sex” and “loose cannons threatened by colleagues,” and continues to describe them as prone to “mood swings, indecision, and backstabbing.” Furthermore, the 85-page complaint claims that the article stated that poll results concluded that the majority of Bayer employees preferred to work for a male manager since men are “easier to deal with” and “much less likely to have a hidden agenda, suffer mood swings or get involved in office politics.” But when female employees brought up the issue of gender discrimination, plaintiffs claim that Bayer showed lack of concern, telling them that “[they] know better. The Company won’t do anything about that.”
Bayer is also alleged to discriminate against pregnant or primary-caregiving women. In one particular instance, the complaint claims that a Vice President specifically did not promote a female employee because she took maternity leave.
According to a lawyer for the plaintiffs, Bayer also pays the women less than men and hinders their opportunities for employment advancement.
The class seeks $100 million for punitive damages, back pay, and legal costs, as well as female advancement programs and an order to establish equality and fairness task force and restoration of the jobs “they would now be occupying” if they hadn’t been discriminated against. The plaintiffs obviously hope that the suit will result in the equal and fair treatment the women in Bayer’s work place, as well as put an end to Bayer’s apparently hostile work environment.