Lehr allegedly said Griesing was "lucky to have a job," according to the complaint. Griesing alleged in her complaint that Lehr, who served on the compensation committee, had told female attorneys that only "tall, male and Jewish" Greenberg Traurig lawyers generate business.
After exhausting other avenues up the food chain in the firm, Griesing said in the complaint that she was left with no other option but to go to Rosenbaum. According to the complaint, Rosenbaum allegedly told Griesing he would not investigate her claims unless she agreed to be "happy" at the firm. Griesing then filed a complaint with the EEOC.
At a subsequent meeting in June 2009, Rosenbaum allegedly told Griesing she needed to leave the firm if she was going to persist in questioning her compensation, according to the complaint.
Griesing said in the complaint that Rosenbaum "took a break from berating her" during the meeting to allegedly order Griesing's meal for her based on what his wife's favorite dish was, according to the complaint.
After the meeting, the firm stopped assigning Griesing work and urged her principal associate to work for another shareholder, according to the complaint. In her December 2009 annual review with Rosenbaum, Griesing said Rosenbaum "chastised" her for filing an EEOC complaint. Rosenbaum allegedly said he was finding it "difficult to treat [Griesing] fairly," in light of those claims, according to the complaint.
On July 28, the EEOC's Philadelphia District Office determined Griesing had been paid $50,000 less than her nearest male counterpart; that women shareholders wer e on average compensated less than men at the firm; and men were more likely than women to be hired above level 300. In a subsequent portion of the EEOC finding, District Director Spencer H. Lewis Jr. said he determined there was reasonable cause to believe Greenberg Traurig violated Title VII and the Equal Pay Act by compensating Griesing and other Philadelphia-based female shareholders less favorably because of their sex.
A conciliation process with the EEOC, Griesing and Greenberg Traurig ensued over the past few months, but Sanford said Monday's complaint is evidence that those talks did not result in a settlement. He said Greenberg Traurig has "ample" reason to settle this nationwide class action.
The proposed class would consist of any female shareholders who worked or are currently working at Greenberg Traurig from April 2007 through the time of judgment in the case, according to the complaint. Under the Title VII claims, Griesing raised claims of assignment and pay discrimination. Griesing also sued on behalf of a proposed collective class under the Equal Pay Act and the Fair Labor Standards Act. Griesing filed individual counts against Greenberg Traurig for retaliation, wrongful termination and constructive discharge.
Greenberg Traurig has 1,750 attorneys firmwide. The firm has 90 lawyers in Atlanta, according to the firm's website. There are 34 male shareholders and 11 female shareholders in the office. There are 25 male of counsel and associates. There are 20 female of counsel and associates, according to the website.
In a July 2012 report on female equity partners done by Intelligencer and Daily Report affiliate The National Law Journal, Greenberg Traurig ranked 193rd out of 221 firms when it came to the percentage of the firm's equity partnership that was female. According to the report, women accounted for 9.62 percent of the firm's equity partnership. There were a total of 312 equity partners at the firm.
The lawsuit filed by Francine Griesing … is an affront to the accomplished, talented women of Green-berg Traurig, who, like all of our lawyers, are compen-sated based on merit.
The Daily Report added figures for the Atlanta office to this story, a version of which first appeared in The Legal Intelligencer, the Daily Report's affiliate in Philadelphia.