NY Law Firm Settles Sexual Orientation Discrimination Suit

October 26, 2007 (PLANSPONSOR.com) - New York law firm Sullivan & Cromwell reached a settlement with a former first year mergers and acquisitions associate who claimed that the firm discriminated against him because he was gay and also claimed the firm retaliated against him for filing a lawsuit, the New York Law Journal reported.

Aaron Charney, 28, filed the suit in January, claiming that several partners at the firm discriminated against him. The charges included an instance in which one of the partners allegedly threw documents at Charney’s feet and ordered him to pick them up.

Charney claimed he was subjected to constant insinuations by partners that he was involved with another associate, and that such a relationship was, in the alleged words of partner Alexandra Korry, “unnatural.” Charney said he was never in a relationship with the associate, who he said was not gay.

The lawsuit surprised many in New York because Sullivan & Cromwell, which has several homosexual partners, had a reputation as a gay-friendly workplace, according to the New York Law Journal.

The law firm denied the allegations by Charney, and filed its own lawsuit, claiming that Charney violated firm and client confidences in his widely disseminated complaint and that he had stolen from an adjacent partner’s office documents concerning associate attrition that he passed to The Wall Street Journal.

The terms of the settlement agreement are confidential, the New York Law Journal reported.