New York Times Reports On Chadbourne Parke Pay Inequity For Women Lawsuit

8 May 2017

Good to see the Times have picked up on this……

The newspaper writes..

By all accounts, Mary T. Yelenick had a stellar career at Chadbourne & Parke, the New York law firm where she spent 35 years, rising to the position of chairwoman for the product liability practice.

She retired in December to words of praise from the firm.

But in March she joined a lawsuit brought by a colleague, Kerrie L. Campbell, that accused the firm of sex discrimination and pay inequity. Ms. Yelenick’s change of heart followed a letter.

Within weeks of Ms. Campbell’s lawsuit in August, Chadbourne circulated a letter disavowing its claims. Fourteen female partners signed the letter, which criticized the description of the firm as “patriarchal” and urged that the lawsuit be withdrawn.

Ms. Yelenick, 62, did not sign the letter, but after looking at a draft, she said in an interview, she “disagreed strongly because the letter contained inaccuracies, including the process that female partners could use to join any potential class or collective action that a court certifies.

“My decades of experience,” she said, “has made me aware of the many ways — both overt and more subtle — in which both institutional structures and informal practices continue to work to impede the advancement, and discount the contributions, of women.”

The third female partner who joined the lawsuit is Jaroslawa Z. Johnson, an American lawyer who headed Chadbourne’s office in Kiev, Ukraine, for a decade. She remained in Kiev after the office closed in December 2014, and noted during her time there that firm data “showed that my revenue generation was higher than many male partners, but my compensation was much lower.”

“Male partners,” she said in an email, “who generated less revenue annually made much more than I did.” She decided to join the lawsuit, she said, once she read Ms. Campbell’s complaint.

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