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Couple Sues Law Firm Over Parental Leave, Wages and a Firing

Couple Sues Law Firm Over Parental Leave, Wages and a Firing

According to the lawsuit, after Jones Day fired Mr. Savignac, it refused to allow two partners who had worked closely with him and previously praised his work to recommend him to prospective employers. Mr. Savignac said he had applied to dozens of firms without receiving an offer before accepting an offer in June. Ms. Sheketoff left the firm while pregnant last year to work for a public defender’s office, where she took a substantial pay cut.

Separately, the couple contends that the firm paid Ms. Sheketoff less than it would have paid a man because of her gender. “Julia’s salary was cut in relative terms based on a negative review from a partner who, in hindsight, clearly treated her worse because she is a woman,” said the couple’s email to the human resources director included in the complaint.

Jones Day denied that it had discriminated against Ms. Sheketoff and said that “her reviews from multiple partners were mixed.”

Ms. Sheketoff was at Jones Day for almost four years, and Mr. Savignac was there about 20 months.

Their allegations echo those in the class-action complaint against Jones Day, filed in April, that spoke of a “fraternity culture.” That lawsuit, pending in federal court, contended that women who give birth face obstacles to advancement at the firm, and that women who have a second child are often asked to leave within a few months of returning to work.

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