Novartis Agrees to $175M Gender Bias Settlement

July 15, 2010 ( – Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corp. has agreed to settle the remainder of gender bias claims brought by women field representatives for $175 million, according to a New York Law Journal report. 

The Law Journal said $152.5 million will go to a class of plaintiffs of current or former female sales representatives with about $60 million to cover back pay claims.   An additional $22.5 million will go to company programs designed to battle discrimination. 

A federal court jury in New York found for the plaintiffs on May 17 and awarded $3.4 million in damages – a sum that will come out of the settlement money, the Law Journal explained (see Jury Finds Gender Discrimination at Novartis).  The same jury awarded $250 million in punitive damages which the settlement replaces. 

The plaintiffs claimed they were discriminated against in pay, promotion, and pregnancy policies.