Dell Sued for Discrimination

The lawsuit is asking for $500 million in damages

By on October 31st, 2008 11:09 GMT

The second largest computer maker in the world, Dell, is now being sued by female former top executives, alleging discrimination after the company announced a series of job cuts earlier this year. It seems that the Texas-based multinational technology company unfairly laid off four former senior female employees, who, on Wednesday, filed a lawsuit in a federal court in California, seeking $500 million in damages.

 

All the allegations made in the case have been denied by the company. “We believe the claims of this suit are without merit,” Dell spokesman David Frink told Reuters. “Dell does not tolerate discrimination in any aspect of employment and we'll vigorously defend any claims that we are not acting in accordance with the law or our policies,” he said, declining to give additional details.

 

Female and older former Dell employees are now asking for $500 million on the grounds that, during the more recent job cuts, they were picked out and systematically discriminated against. “At Dell, it is an understatement to say that women face a glass ceiling - Dell's glass ceiling is made of concrete,” said Steven L. Wittels, class counsel in the case and founding partner of Sanford Wittels & Heisler LLP.

 

Of Dell's top executives, 14 are men, representing a percentage of nearly 80, court papers say. Dell has refrained from commenting on the alleged figure, despite the fact that its website reads that women and people of color represent 32 percent of its U.S.-based vice presidents. Discrimination is a current and highly debated issue in the United States and, although countless lawsuits are being filed on a constant basis against unequal pay for equal work, women in the US receive an average 22 percent less remuneration than their male counterparts.

 

The plaintiffs bringing Dell to court stated they had been repeatedly passed up for promotions and increased pay, although they did have good performance reviews. According to Wittels, Dell was expected to say that the action was performed a bit late, since a time limit for this type of suits is instituted by the federal law. A bill against time constraints in pay-discrimination claims has been blocked by Senate Republicans.

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