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Final Approval of Novartis Gender Discrimination Settlement Slated for November 19
Date:11/18/2010

NEW YORK, Nov. 18, 2010 /PRNewswire/ -- The final hearing for approval of the class settlement in the long-running class action gender discrimination case brought by female sales representatives at Novartis Pharmaceutical Corporation is set for Friday, November 19th at 10 a.m. in the courtroom of Judge Colleen McMahon of United States District Court for the Southern District of New York in Manhattan.

The plaintiffs are seeking Court approval for the unopposed final settlement agreement. The settlement terms include the disbursement of $175 million – $152.5M of which includes 100% of back pay, benefits and adjusted wages, compensatory damages, service payments to class representatives and class members who helped prosecute the case, attorneys' fees and case expenses. In addition to the monetary relief, the settlement includes $22.5M of non-monetary relief which Novartis will invest, as required by the terms of the settlement, to engage in substantive programmatic changes to improve employment practices at Novartis. This is believed to be one of the largest non-monetary settlements ever reached.

The plaintiffs are also requesting that the Court approve a final certification of the settlement class, which currently totals some 6,026 women who worked for the pharmaceutical giant during the class period that now extends from July 15, 2002 through July 14, 2010.

"This is an excellent monetary agreement for female sales representatives of Novartis," said Mr. Sanford. "More important, Novartis will be a better company going forward; it is changing its ways and is doing the right thing."

The class is represented by a team of attorneys from Sanford Wittels & Heisler LLP (SWH), a boutique class-action civil rights litigation law firm with offices in New York, Washington, D.C., and San Francisco. The Novartis litigation team is headed by SWH partners David Sanford and Katherine M. Kimpel. The matter has been pending since 2004.

ABOUT SWH

Sanford Wittels & Heisler is a law firm with offices in Washington, D.C., New York, and San Francisco that specializes in employment discrimination, wage and hour, consumer and complex corporate class action litigation and has represented thousands of individuals in some of the major class action cases in the United States. The firm also represents individual clients in employment, employment discrimination, sexual harassment, whistleblower, public accommodations, commercial, medical malpractice, and personal injury matters.


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SOURCE Sanford Wittels & Heisler LLP
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