Discrimination sexuelle chez Sanofi, plusieurs femmes attaquent le groupe
Rapporté par manu31 sur EB today
Four Sanofi staff bring sexual bias suit
By Victoria Kimin New York
Published: August 30 2007 03:00 | Last updated: August 30 2007 03:00
Four female sales representatives have sued pharmaceutical group
Sanofi-Aventis for sexual discriminationin a $300m class action lawsuit.
In a suit filed with a US District Court in New York, the women allege
that they were barred from promotion opportunities, received lower pay
rises than their male colleagues and were subjected to sexually abusive
Three women were added as plaintiffs in yesterday's complaint, which followsan original suit filed in March.
The suit seeks class action status, with potentially larger
implications for the 8,000 US sales personnel of the French drug maker.
Marc Greene, a spokesman for Sanofi-Aventis, the third- largest
pharmaceutical company in the world, saidthat the company was confident
that "the suit lacks merit, and that all of our employees are treated
fairly and in compliance with all applicable federal and state laws".
This month, a US federal judge gave the green light to another
class-action discrimination suit, this time against Novartis, the Swiss
pharmaceuticals group. In the $100m lawsuit, 19 female sales workers
alleged they were discriminated against in payment and promotions.
Plaintiff Karen Bellifemine, who worked for Sanofi-Aventis for more
than 12 years, alleges that the company "does not discipline managers
or other employees when they discriminate against female employees or
create a sexually charged and inhospitable workplace for women".
Ms Bellifemine said sexually explicit language was used in e-mails and
during "happy hours", and that she was twice denied promotions that
were given to male colleagues.
Pharmaceutical companies rely heavily on sales personnel who develop relationships with doctors to promote the companies' drugs.
However, as drugmakers come under increasing pricing and market
pressures, some have been forced to cut back their sales forces and
rethink the role of representatives.
Sanofi-Aventis was created in 2004 by the merger of French
pharmaceutical companies Sanofi-Synthélabo and Aventis, forming the
largest European drug manufacturer.
Copyright The Financial Times Limited 2007