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Sex discrimination claims against L&T upheld by New Jersey judge

In 2010, a New Jersey woman was excited to start her new job as an independent contractor with Larsen and Toubro, a company headquartered in her state. She worked hard and earned a promotion to full-time employee in January 2011. Her life only got better when she received the news that she was pregnant. It was the next day, when she told her employer that it all fell apart.

That next day, only 38 days after her promotion, the company terminated her employment. This termination, the woman claimed was due to employment discrimination based on her sex. After her employment ended, she filed a sex discrimination lawsuit against her former employer.

Not only was the woman representing her own rights but the rights of other women. The lawsuit seeks $20 million in damages and several claims of employee rights violations. The claims against L&T for intentional sex discrimination, individual sex discrimination and class claims for both sex discrimination and pregnancy discrimination were all based on New Jersey law.

The woman also stated in the lawsuit that she had been repeatedly sexually harassed and forced to endure the criticisms made against other women in the company. The woman claimed that after she was hired on full time an immediate supervisor told her that she was replacing a woman who "did not know how to dress."

Magistrate Judge Patty Shwartz of the District Court in New Jersey presided over the case and made the determination to uphold the several claims in the last week of February 2012. The judge upheld the several claims but also dismissed ones relating to breach of contract and a hostile work environment.

Source: The Times of India, "US court upholds sexual discrimination lawsuit against L&T," Feb. 29, 2012

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