Novartis Ordered to Pay $250 M over Sex Discrimination

The U.S. division of Switzerland-based Novartis has been found guilty of discriminating against its female employees. A Manhattan federal court jury ordered Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation to pay $250 million for having a bias against its female sales representatives.

The women who filed the suit, 12 of whom testified, claimed that Novartis had been unfair when it came to giving salaries, promotions, and pregnancy benefits to them. The jury, composed of five women and four men, found Novartis guilty of discrimination from 2002 to 2007.

The 12 women who testified will receive $3.3 million, paving the way for more than 5,500 female employees to get the same compensatory damages. The decision comes despite Novartis being considered one of top 100 companies by “Working Mother,” a well-known magazine for women.

Working Mother Media president Carol Evans said that they were “disappointed that Novartis has engaged in discriminatory practices against women and mothers” but defended the magazine‚Äôs choice of the company, saying it included the pharmaceutical giant in its top-companies list for its programs that support working mothers.