Andrus Anderson represents a former attorney in a nationwide class action against Steptoe & Johnson, alleging that the law firm pays only “lip service” to diversity in its workforce, and subjects its female attorneys to unequal pay.
In the Complaint, Plaintiff Ji-In Houck alleges that her $85,000 starting salary was half that of male lawyers fresh out of law school, who were paid $165,000. During her tenure at the firm, her salary slowly increased, but she never caught up. Houck was not alone: she describes two other, unnamed female attorneys who earned much less than men with comparable experience.
By bringing the lawsuit as a class action, Houck hopes to positively impact the male-dominated culture at the firm. The lawsuit explains: “[g]iven America’s commitment to—in the words ascribed above the door of the United States Supreme Court—‘Equal Justice Under Law,’ a legal profession in which women lawyers are openly valued less than their male peers threatens the very legitimacy with which the public views our country’s laws, lawyers, judges, and the justice system itself.”
The federal Equal Pay Act and California’s Fair Pay Act do not require a showing of intentional discrimination. Even if the firm isn’t purposefully holding women attorneys back, it can be held in violation of equal pay laws if the statistics show a pattern of discrimination compensation.
The “devaluation” of women workers is rampant in all sectors of business and industry, and Lori Andrus and Jennie Anderson are determined to do something about the problem. If you aren’t being paid fairly, contact Andrus Anderson today.