Toshiba HR Manager Sues over Gender Discrimination

January 31, 2011 ( – The Human Resources Manager of Toshiba America Nuclear Energy (TANE) Corporation has sued the subsidiary and its parent company, Toshiba America, over allegations she and other women at the firm have been discriminated against because of their gender.

A news release about the federal court filing in New York said Elaine Cyphers joined TANE as its Human Resources Manager in June 2008.  Prior to joining Toshiba, she had more than 25 years of human resources experience.

According to the complaint, discrimination against women is “pervasive” in the company.  The suit asserts that Toshiba engages in “systemic gender discrimination” against female employees by paying them less than their male counterparts, denying them promotions into better and higher paying positions, limiting their employment opportunities to lower and less desirable job classifications, and exposing them to different treatment as employees. The complaint also details preferential treatment that males at Toshiba receive with respect to salary, benefits, bonuses and promotions.  

The news release, from the law firm representing Cyphers, said that subsequent to Cyphers’ interviewing for and accepting TANE’s “top” HR job, Toshiba created a new HR position above her, and did not publicize the new position or inform her about it.  TANE filled the new position from within Toshiba with a male less qualified and experienced than Cyphers. After that male’s promotion, Cyphers was stripped of her primary duties as HR Manager and assigned low-level administrative and clerical tasks, the suit claims.

The suit also alleges Cyphers was the victim of retaliation after formally reporting the alleged discrimination to the company’s general counsel.