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 user 2011-02-03 at 9:25:36 am Views: 30
  • #24107

    Toshiba said to deprive women of equal pay, promotions
    YORK– A senior human resources manager at Toshiba Corp has filed a $100
    million lawsuit accusing a U.S. unit of the Japanese technology company
    of gender bias against women in pay and promotions.The plaintiff,
    Elaine Cyphers, contends Toshiba America Inc pays women lower salaries
    and bonuses than men who perform similar work. She also alleges the
    company steers women into lower-grade positions and favors men in
    promotions.Cyphers said this results in an “astounding lack of women in
    leadership positions,” despite Toshiba’s creation six years ago of a
    “Gender Equality Office.” The complaint said only 3.4 percent of
    Toshiba’s 6,273 managers worldwide are women.”The numbers are
    atrocious,” said David Sanford, a partner at Sanford Wittels &
    Heisler LLP who represents Cyphers, in an interview. “We believe the
    class claims are significant, and will be substantiated in the
    litigation.”Toshiba spokesman Tom Gallatin said in an email the company
    generally does not discuss pending litigation.

    Cyphers said she
    has been human resources manager at Toshiba America Nuclear Energy Corp
    and the highest-ranking U.S. human resources employee at that unit. She
    said she was paid $90,000 to $91,800 a year between 2008 and 2010, while
    men in similar jobs at Toshiba were paid about $120,000 annually.The
    lawsuit is the latest of many accusing companies of favoring men over
    women in the workplace. It seeks class-action status on behalf of all
    current and former Toshiba female employees in the United States.
    Cyphers said she also filed a complaint with the Equal Employment
    Opportunity Commission.Last July, Novartis AG agreed to pay $175 million
    to settle a class-action lawsuit accusing the Swiss drugmaker of
    discriminating against 5,600 women sales representatives in pay and

    Sanford was co-lead counsel for the sales representatives.
    U.S. Supreme Court is expected to decide by June whether Wal-Mart
    Stores Inc must continue to defend against the largest U.S. class-action
    gender bias lawsuit in history, brought on behalf of as many as 1.5
    million current and former female employees.Cyphers said she had worked
    in human resources for a quarter century before Toshiba hired her in
    June 2008 and moved about 110 miles to Falls Church, Virginia, for the
    job.She said Toshiba soon promoted a less experienced man to a new
    position above her and later sought to force her from the company in
    retaliation for complaints about discrimination.When Cyphers returned
    last month from medical leave, a supervisor told her to leave and not to
    return “until further notice,” so she “promptly collected her
    belongings” and left, the complaint said.Cyphers now lives in North
    Carolina and “technically” remains a Toshiba employee but is on leave,
    her lawyer said.The case is Cyphers v. Toshiba America Inc et al, U.S.
    District Court, Southern District of New York, No. 11-00642.