The Associated Press, July 14, 2010 – Novartis agrees to pay $152.5 million for gender discrimination claims

NEW YORK (AP) — Novartis has agreed to pay $152.5 million to settle claims that it discriminated against women by paying them less than men.

The settlement was announced Wednesday by the pharmaceutical company and lawyers for the plaintiffs. It calls for an additional $22.5 million to be paid for company programs to eliminate discrimination. A judge must yet approve it.

The settlement will cover claims by 5,600 women at the drug company who were part of the class-action lawsuit in federal court in Manhattan.

A jury in May found Novartis discriminated against women by paying them less than men, promoting fewer of them and allowing a hostile workplace. It awarded $250 million in punitive damages and $3.3 million in compensatory damages to a dozen women.

None of the plaintiffs are based at the East Hanover headquarters, according to Sanford Wittels & Heisler, LLP, the law firm representing the plaintiffs.

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