Former Proskauer Rose CFO Sues Firm for Bias

October 6, 2011 ( – A former CFO for the law firm Proskauer Rose L.L.P., who took medical leave for breast cancer treatment and was subsequently terminated, is suing the firm for $10 million. 

The plaintiff, Elly Rosenthal is claiming age, gender, and disability discrimination in the lawsuit filed in New York Supreme Court in Manhattan. According to the lawsuit, Rosenthal, now 57, was hired as the law firm’s CFO in 1992.  In November 2007 she was diagnosed with breast cancer. After undergoing treatment, including two rounds of surgery, she returned to work in March 2008, but decided to take a further three-month medical leave to complete her recovery.

She returned to work in August 2008, and in September was “effectively demoted” to the newly created position of chief administrative financial officer. Her CFO position was given to Jim Barbaria, who had previously reported to her.

Barbaria and other firm administrators “orchestrated a concerted campaign to undermine Rosenthal’s authority and erode her position at Proskauer,” according to the lawsuit. On March 11, 2009, Rosenthal was told she was terminated and given three days to vacate her office.