Pay equity suit says Jones Day 'operates as a fraternity'
- Global law firm Jones Day has been hit with a lawsuit alleging that it pays female attorneys less than male attorneys (Wendy Moore et al. v. Jones Day, et al., (California Superior Court, County of San Francisco, June 19, 2018)).
- Wendy Moore, a partner at the firm for more than four years, alleged that Jones Day "operates as a fraternity" and has a "boys' club culture" in which men mentor each other; this provides them professional and business development opportunities that ultimately leads to higher salaries. Moore said Jones Day's compensation system and subjective performance reviews are designed to hide pervasive pay discrimination against women, as is "an enforced code of silence" around pay and other terms and conditions of employment. Moore said that when she complained about systemic gender discrimination, the firm retaliated against her by, among other things, cutting her hours and then firing her.
- Jones Day isn't the only firm such facing allegations in recent weeks. The same plaintiffs' firm filed a similar suit against Ogletree, Deakins, Nash, Smoak & Stewart P.C. seeking $300 million.
As both the #MeToo and pay transparency movements take hold, pay equity remains a top concern for employees. A number of employers have faced pay discrimination claims in recent months, including Google, Microsoft and Oracle. Others, like Salesforce, have taken affirmative steps to work to eliminate pay inequities for women and minorities.
Eliminating pay gaps often starts with an internal audit and the expert use of data analytics, and almost half of employers in a recent survey reported that they're planning to undertake such efforts. But that's just the beginning, experts say; these steps must be followed by the implementation of inclusive recruitment and promotion policies.
Creating a workplace culture of transparency and inclusivity starts at the top. Leadership should document the vision, core values and expectations, and share that information with employees, Chris Johnson, CEO of Uncubed, a startup recruiting and career platform, previously told HR Dive. Even if you're faced with an ingrained "fraternity" culture, it’s never too late to change directions.
- Superior Court of the State of California, County of San Francisco Wendy Moore et al. v. Jones Day, et al
- HR Dive #MeToo, #TimesUp movements may spur pay transparency