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Suit says Jones Day manager was micromanaged and laid off after pregnancy leave

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A former Jones Day manager claims in a lawsuit that she laid off as a result of bias due to pregnancy, disability, age and gender.

Plaintiff Cortney Nathanson, a business development and communications manager in New York, was laid off last year after working for the firm for 13 years, the Am Law Daily (sub. req.) reports. She was one of five women over 40 laid off by the firm, her suit (PDF) says.

Nathanson says she went on maternity leave in October 2014 and extended the time off for two months in early 2016 because of postpartum depression. When she returned, the suit says, her work was scrutinized without explanation, her routine responsibilities were micromanaged, and some work was diverted from her. A supervising partner “also misrepresented the urgency of certain projects, in order to dupe Ms. Nathanson and misdirect her focus,” the suit alleges.

When Nathanson was laid off during a restructuring, she was asked to describe her tasks to the temporary employee who handled her job when she was on leave. The employee was given a permanent job and the title of proposals manager. He was one of three employees who handled Nathanson’s responsibilities after the restructuring; another was a newly hired events coordinator making $70,000, the suit says.

Nathanson earned $280,000 in her job, which included handling client proposals, events, client research, presentations, lawyer coaching, employee training and public relations. She refused an offer of $49,377 in exchange for an agreement releasing all claims against the firm, the suit says.

The law firm did not immediately respond to a request for comment by the ABA Journal.

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