Lockheed Martin Sex Discrimination Class Action Lawsuit

Giskan Solotaroff Anderson & Stewart has joined as co-lead counsel in a sex discrimination class action filed against Lockheed Martin in the United States District Court for the District of New Jersey. The lawsuit alleges that women have been denied professional advancement opportunities and equal pay in violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act and the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination.

I. Plaintiff's Factual Allegations

To review the First Amended Complaint, please click here. For detailed information regarding developments in the case, please visit the dedicated case website by clicking this link: http://www.lockheedmartindiscrimination.com.

The lead plaintiff in the case, Carol Bell, a more than 20-year veteran of the company, asserts that she and other females employed by Lockheed Martin face a “glass ceiling” that prevents them from being considered for upper management level positions. Moreover, Plaintiffs allege that women who do hold these senior leadership positions are primarily relegated to “traditionally female” departments, such as Human Resources, Ethics, and Communications.

The suit also alleges that women in positions across various levels at Lockheed Martin are disproportionately paid less than men who perform substantially similar work, with similar or lesser skills and experience, and are disproportionately rated lower than men as a result of the company’s "bell curve" forced rating systems. Lower selection rates in “stretch” positions, leadership training, and other advancement track opportunities have resulted in lower compensation for female professionals; in contrast, male employees with lesser qualifications and experience find themselves on a fast track to promotion.

According to the complaint, it is Lockheed Martin’s practice to restrict posting of open positions Director-level and above (contrary to its policy for lower-level positions which are posted). The suit alleges that Lockheed Martin does not have an application or a formal interview process for these management positions, and instead makes promotion decisions in secretive meetings in which women often are not present.

II. Relief Sought

The suit seeks an order that Lockheed Martin establish fair employment practices in connection with promotion, hiring and compensation, an injunction that would bar the corporation from any acts of discrimination in the future, and compensatory and punitive damages.

III. The Proposed Class

The case is brought on behalf of all current and former female management level employees who have been denied upper management level positions, and who have been discriminated in compensation, including with respect to pay grade, annual and promotional increases, merit pay increases and bonuses. This includes women nationwide who have been affected by Lockheed Martin’s discriminatory practices since March 1, 2006.

IV. Recent Developments

On December 14, 2011, the District Court judge presiding over Bell v. Lockheed Martin, denied class certification based on the Supreme Court’s decision in Dukes, et al v. Wal-Mart, Inc., 131 S.Ct. 2541 (2011). To read the Court’s decision, Click Here.

Plaintiffs sought review of the Court’s decision by the Third Circuit Court of Appeals, and on January 31, 2012, the Third Circuit denied plaintiffs’ petition to appeal. The District Court's decision only addressed whether a national class action could go forward. It did not rule on whether Lockheed Martin discriminated against women or whether you may pursue an individual claim of sex discrimination.

If you are a woman and worked at Lockheed Martin at any time since March 21, 2007 (or any time since December 23, 2006 if you work for Lockheed Martin in New Jersey), and were denied equal pay or promotion, please see below.

FIRST, IT IS IMPORTANT THAT YOU ACT PROMPTLY TO PROTECT YOUR RIGHTS TO PURSUE YOUR CLAIM. If you were a member of the “Class” described above, you may still pursue your claim on an individual basis.

The Class included all females employed by Lockheed Martin in “E” or “L” designated positions at levels 3, 4, 5 or 6 in the United States of America since March 21, 2007. The New Jersey “Subclass” included all females employed by Lockheed Martin in “E” or “L” designated positions at level 3, 4, 5 and 6 in the State of New Jersey since December 23, 2006.

If you believe you may have been harmed by the discriminatory practices alleged in this case, you must act to protect your rights before the time to pursue your claim expires.

Q: Do the Attorneys for the Class Still Represent Me?

No. During the period while the class action was pending, we served as class counsel and represented the members of the Class. The Third Circuit’s decision that the case may no longer proceed as a class means that we no longer represent you.  

Q: What is the Deadline for Pursuing my Claim?

The law gives you a limited amount of time to pursue your claim of discrimination against Lockheed Martin. The passage of that time period was “tolled” or stopped while the class action was pending for the pay discrimination and promotion claims covered by this class action. This is why even though the discriminatory actions you challenge may have occurred many years ago, you still may be able to bring a case. The Court’s decision that a class may not go forward restarts this time period to pursue your claim. You may be able to pursue a claim either by filing a charge with the EEOC or state agency, or by filing a lawsuit.

We cannot advise you now on the amount of time you have to file an EEOC charge or a lawsuit. More information on the filing deadlines is available on the EEOC’s website: http://www.eeoc.gov/employees/timeliness.cfm.

You should consult with another attorney of your choice to explore your legal options.

If you have other claims that were not part of this case, such as wrongful termination, harassment or other unlawful employment practices such as race, disability or age discrimination, or any claims under state law, former class counsel is not in a position to advise you about such claims and cannot represent you on such claims. Such claims have their own time limits. If you want to consult an attorney, your state or local bar association may have a lawyer referral service that can put you in touch with a lawyer who can help you. The American Bar Association maintains a directory of these services around the country: http://apps.americanbar.org/legalservices/lris/directory. In addition, the National Employment Lawyers Association (NELA) is a membership organization of attorneys who specialize in representing workers who claim to be victims of employment discrimination. Though NELA cannot give you advice or refer you to a lawyer, you may use the Find A Lawyer feature on its website (www.nela.org/findalawyer) to obtain contact information for attorneys in your area who specialize in representing employees in workplace disputes.

V. Contact Giskan Solotaroff Anderson & Stewart

To obtain more information about the lawsuit, please use this form.

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