Labor and Employment
Female Associate Unhappy at Mintz Firm, One of the ‘Best Law Firms for Women’
Posted Mar 21, 2008 5:56 PM CDT
By Martha Neil
A female associate has filed a state administrative law complaint against her Boston-based law firm, claiming sex discrimination and retaliation.
Kamee Verdrager filed a complaint against Mintz, Levin, Cohn, Ferris, Glovsky, and Popeo with the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination, "alleging that she was demoted because of her gender and treated unfairly after complaining about a male supervisor's behavior," reports the Boston Globe.
Verdrager, a Georgetown University Law Center graduate who has worked at the firm since 2004 and is now on maternity leave, contends that the firm created a hostile environment after she complained about what she describes as "inappropriate comments" by a male partner. Three other partners, she says, retaliated against her after she complained to the firm about these comments. She also says a partner suggested she take a pay cut when she announced her plans to marry, and again, in exchange for a reduced schedule, when she announced her pregnancy, even though she hadn't asked for part-time status.
However, Verdrager had "clear performance problems," contends partner Michael Gardener, speaking on behalf of the firm. He says the three partners that she says retaliated against her were actually trying to help her improve her work.
Women account for about half of the attorneys and not quite 20 percent of the partners at Mintz Levin. The 500-lawyer firm was listed last year as one of the best law firms for women by Working Mother magazine, the Globe notes. The magazine's survey was discussed in an earlier ABAJournal.com post.