In House Counsel

GE Lawyer Claims Gender Bias

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The former general counsel for General Electric’s transportation unit has filed a suit that contends the company discriminates against female executives, including its female lawyers.

Lorene F. Schaefer claims in her suit that she didn’t get a promotion because of her gender and made less money than her male counterparts. “I bumped up against an absolute glass ceiling into the executive ranks,” she told the New York Times.

Schaefer earned $240,000 a year plus a bonus of $140,000, the Wall Street Journal (sub. req.) reports.

Schaefer told the Times that she and most other female general counsels were not part of the “senior executive band” at GE, but many male general counsels had made it to that level.

The suit, filed in Connecticut federal court, seeks class-action status and $500 million in damages.

A GE spokesman denies the allegations and says the percentage of female corporate officers has increased under chairman Jeffrey R. Immelt.

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