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Class-Action suit could cost French firm over $300M

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in Discrimination and Harassment,HR Management,Human Resources,Leaders & Managers,Management Training

Sanofi-aventis U.S., the American branch of a French pharmaceutical group, has been hit with a class-action sexual discrimination and harassment lawsuit. The four plaintiffs claim they were paid less and not promoted because of their gender. The women also say their bosses made unwelcome sexual comments and gestures, and management did not respond when they complained.

Attorneys representing the employees are seeking class certification for approximately 6,000 women and anticipate damages of about $500,000 each, potentially totaling more than $300 million.

Sanofi said the suit lacks merit.

Final note: Foreign companies operating in the United States may import from their home countries ideas of what constitutes sexual harassment and discrimination. It’s up to HR professionals to set them straight.

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