It was a sweet court victory for New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg when a federal judge dismissed claims against his namesake company Bloomberg LP for discriminating against pregnant women and new mothers.
The privately-held financial news and media company, founded by the mayor, was sued in Manhattan federal court in 2007 by the Equal Opportunity Commission on behalf of pregnant women employees who accused the company of discriminating against them in pay and responsibilities.
However, the claim fell far short of what was necessary to prove a company-wide pattern or practice of discrimination, a federal judge concluded Wednesday.
The evidence presented in this case is insufficient to demonstrate that discrimination was Bloomberg's standard operating procedure, even if there were several isolated instances of individual discrimination, said U.S. District Judge Loretta Preska in Manhattan.
According to Preska, the EEOC supported its claim of a pervasive bias with no statistical evidence of discrimination and around 10 statements from four or five managers or executives in a company of 10,000 employees, 603 of whom took maternity leave during a six-year span covered by the lawsuit, says The Associated Press.
Isolated remarks by a handful of executives ... do not show that Bloomberg's standard operating procedure was to discriminate against pregnant women and mothers, said the judge.
Here, much of the evidence appears to be the EEOC's claims that individuals were unhappy with the amount of a raise or unhappy with a denial of a transfer or unhappy about not receiving a promotion.
Following the dismissal, Bloomberg referred to his company saying,
I've always been very proud of what the company has done.
I've been out of the company for a long time. But it's a great company and it's always treated its employees, I think, probably as well if not better than any other company I've ever seen. And I'm proud of it, said the mayor Thursday morning.
EEOC Attorney Rachel Adams said: We look forward to proceeding with the individual claims and will assess our options.