M&S Achieves Historic Settlement in Gender Discrimination Case Against Pharmaceutical Company Medicis

November 23, 2016

by M&S Staff

Thanks to the courage of our clients and the hard work of Mehri & Skalet attorneys and co-counsel at Valli, Kane & Vagnini, historic monetary relief has been approved for 225 women who were sales representatives of Medicis, a pharmaceutical company that oversaw policies and practices that discriminated against female field sales employees, impacting their selection, compensation, promotion, leaves of absences, and termination. In addition, the Court certified the hostile environment class claim of female sales representatives at Medicis, where the leaders of the company created a workplace culture of systemic sexual harassment. Only a handful of cases in U.S. jurisprudence have achieved certification of gender-based hostile work environment claims.

The 100 women who filed claims received an average of $44,000 each from a $7.15 million Settlement Fund created by the parties’ settlement agreement. This is one of the largest gender discrimination class action settlements on a per class member basis in history.

The Settlement also provides for important three-year programmatic relief. This relief is aimed at improving gender equity with respect to the advancement and compensation of female employees, fostering fair treatment of employees with caregiving responsibilities, and assuring protection of employees who may have been subject to discrimination and harassment.

At the final hearing on the case, the Court praised the work of our legal team, saying, “I think your pleadings have been outstanding. I think your presentations to date have been outstanding,” and noting that the lawyers’ work on the settlement was “very laudable.” Final approval was granted to the settlement in July and distributions were made to class members this fall.

Medicis was acquired by Valeant Pharmaceuticals International in 2012.

M&S Client, Actress Victoria Rowell, Talks Diversity on WJLA

Actress Victoria Rowell recently appeared on WJLA’s “Good Morning Washington” and talked about lack of diversity in Hollywood. The Emmy-nominated, NAACP Image award-winning actress praised M&S and co-counsel for being her employment and civil rights attorneys in her case against Sony Entertainment and Corday Productions.

You can view the clip of Victoria Rowell here.