Female Lawyers Worth Less Than Their Male Counterparts?

Greenberg Traurig, one of the biggest law firms in the U.S., is being sued by a former partner, Francine F. Griesing, alleging gender discrimination. Ms. Griesing has filed her class action complaint today in federal court in New York and alleges that it is company policy to pay women less than men.

This filing follows a finding by the U.S. EEOC in June 2012, that there is “reasonable cause” to support class-wide claims of gender discrimination as well as retaliation for asserting rights.

Ms. Griesing contends in her lawsuit that firm CEO, Richard Rosenbaum derided female partners in the firm’s Philadelphia as “worthless” during a conversation about Ms. Griesing’s compensation. In fact, the complaint alleges that the head of Greenberg Traurig’s Women’s Initiative informed Griesing that Greenberg Traurig’s women lawyers would have to wait years to “catch up” with their male colleagues. Ms. Griesing says she was also told it was “unseemly” for her to complain about money and that she was “lucky to have a job.”

According to Forbes, Ms. Griesing’s lawyer explained that “While women make up 45% of law firm associates, only 15% of equity partners generally and fewer than 10% of equity partners at Greenberg Traurig are women.”