There are a few law firms that specialize in representing employers in employment cases. A very few of those firms operate nationally. One such law firm is Ogletree, Deakins, Nash, Smoak and Stewart, PC. Ogletree Deakins represents employers everyday regarding employment matters. They have offices across the country. Yet, that firm is the defendant in a $300 million claiming the law firm discriminates against female partners in regard to pay. Shareholder Dawn Knepper, once a resident of San Antonio, accused the law firm of substantial pay disparities when she moved to California and found herself paid considerably less than her male counterparts.
According to the lawsuit, the firm does not give female partners credit for the business they bring in, does not give them the same opportunities to develop, and does not select women to represent the firm at business meetings as much as the firm chooses male partners. The lawsuit notes that pay is based on a vote of the equity shareholders, 80% of whom are male. The suit seeks $100 million in lost pay, $100 million in compensatory damages and $100 million in punitive damages. See ABA Bar Journal report.
A separate suit seeks a declaratory judgment that Ms. Knepper is not limited by an arbitration agreement she signed with the law firm. Ahhh yes, those pesky arbitration agreements.