Farmers Insurance is facing more accusations that it unlawfully pays its female attorney-employees significantly lower wages than those paid to its male attorney-employees performing the same work. Today, Five more women have joined a lawsuit charging Farmers with pay discrimination, hoping to change the male-dominated corporate culture at the nation’s third largest insurer.
Plaintiffs’ attorney Lori E. Andrus said: “Women attorneys earn between 79 and 83 cents on the dollar compared to their male peers. Over time, even a small wage gap adds up. Companies like Farmers may be increasing their profits by using women as cheap labor, but they are cheating their hard-working, long-time female employees, and its time for it to stop.“
The lawsuit, Coates v. Farmers Group, Inc., et al., Case No. 5:15-cv-01913-LHK (N.D. Cal.), is a putative class action on behalf of female attorneys employed by Farmers nationwide. The suit alleges that Farmers engages in a pattern and practice of gender discrimination against its female attorney-employees through unequal pay for equal work in violation of the Equal Pay Act, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and California’s Labor Code.
According to the complaint, “Farmers tolerates and even cultivates a hostile environment in which female attorney employees are openly devalued, where retaliation for voicing gender discrimination complaints is the norm, and where female attorneys who question the company’s gender norms are routinely pushed out.”
The plaintiffs in the case will also be filing a motion for conditional class action certification today. Lead plaintiff Lynne Coates seeks to represent the female attorney employees of Farmers across the nation.
Attorneys Lori Andrus of Andrus Anderson LLP and Lori Costanzo of the Costanzo Law Firm represent the plaintiffs.