Judge Grants Preliminary Approval in Pay Discrimination Lawsuit Against Farmers Insurance

The Honorable Lucy H. Koh, United States District Judge for the Northern District of California, has preliminarily approved the class settlement in Coates v. Farmers Insurance Group, Case No. 5:15-cv-01913, a wage discrimination lawsuit. At a hearing, the Judge referred to the settlement as “excellent” and commended the parties for the “substantial relief” the agreement will provide to class members.

The settlement was reached after a year of intense litigation. It provides payments to the women employed by Farmers’ Claims Litigation department during the class period, and also requires Farmers to make a number of business practices changes designed to improve the working lives of Farmers’ female litigators, and to increase transparency in Farmers’ compensation systems. More information about the agreement can be found here. To read the preliminary approval order, click here. After a notice period, plaintiffs will seek final approval of the settlement in the Fall.

In a recent article in the L.A. Times, Joan Williams, an expert on workplace gender issues and a professor at University of California Hastings College of the Law, said: “This is a substantial victory, and a good model going forward.”

If you suspect you are being paid less than a male colleague doing equal work, you may have valid legal claims. Contact Andrus Anderson to have your case evaluated at no charge.