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Employment Class Actions: Female Attorney Sues Over Unequal Pay

A female attorney is suing Farmers Insurance, one of the nation’s biggest insurance companies. The lawsuit claims that Farmers significantly and systematically underpays female attorneys for performing the same job duties as male attorneys. Plaintiff had 22 years of experience when she was hired as a contract attorney and soon became a full time employee earning a $90,000 salary.

A few years later plaintiff found out that a male colleague earned between $150,000 and $200,000 per year even though he had the same level of experience and worked on many of the same cases as the female attorney. After plaintiff discussed the pay discrepancy with a supervisor, her duties were substantially limited even though she had received good performance reviews with strong recommendations. She quit a few months later.

The lawsuit was filed as a putative class action in federal district court in Northern California and seeks to represent female attorneys employed by Farmers in the last three years, potentially involving hundreds of women. The complaint notes that this is not the first time that Farmers has been sued for their pay practices: the Secretary of Labor in the 1970s, Ray Marshall, sued Farmers Insurance in Kansas for their discriminatory pay practices.

The complaint alleges violations of the federal Equal Pay Act, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, California’s Fair Housing and Employment Act, Private Attorneys General Act, and a number of other causes of action.

The employment law attorneys at Stephen Danz & Associates have extensive experience protecting employee rights across California and have successfully represented clients in gender discrimination cases and class actions. Call us today for a free consultation if you think you may have a claim.