$7.75M gender discrimination settlement with western digital on behalf of women in tech

On May 14, 2019, Medina Orthwein LLP and Sanford Heisler Sharp LLP announced the pre-suit settlement of a gender discrimination class and collective action lawsuit against Western Digital Corporation and Western Digital Technologies, Inc. The lawsuit alleges discrimination against women in pay, promotions, and job placement on behalf of all women employed by Western Digital in an indirect labor position at or below the Senior Manager level.

This class settlement is pending court approval. If the court approves, Western Digital will make a non-reversionary payment of $7.75 million. The majority of this fund will be distributed to a class of female employees.

“This is a huge step forward to achieving gender equity in tech, which is long overdue,” said Felicia Medina, founding partner of Medina Orthwein. “We are proud to support the women who came forward to advocate for equal pay in tech and to speak about their experiences. Pre-suit class settlement is no easy feat, but with the right elements it can be accomplished.  We also want to acknowledge the plaintiffs in the Qualcomm gender discrimination lawsuit we did in 2017 for paving the way for the Western Digital case.”

In addition to the $7.75 million payment, the settlement also requires Western Digital to institute comprehensive programmatic relief designed to ensure equity, objectivity, and transparency in pay and promotions for women at the company. The measures include creating a plan to increase the number of women hired and promoted to leadership, educating employees on non-discrimination policies, conducting gender equity statistical analyses , and revamping the company’s internal complaint procedures. Western Digital will also appoint an internal compliance monitor, who will ensure the implementation and compliance with the settlement agreement and provide reports to the attorneys representing the class.


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