<\body> Stories in America: Boeing Settles Sex Discrimination Lawsuit

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Boeing Settles Sex Discrimination Lawsuit

Like most sex discrimination class-actions, the suit filed against Boeing has been settled out of court and has received little attention. More than 20,000 current and former female employees out of a potential pool of 29,000 said Boeing discriminated against them at Seattle-area plants between 1997 and 2000. "It's revealing that over 60 percent of female employees filed claims -- in most class-action suits a 30 percent response rate is typical," said Mike Helgren, the lead attorney for the plaintiffs.
Thousands of female employees involved in a gender discrimination lawsuit against the Boeing Co. will be sharing in a $72.5 million settlement in the next few weeks.

Boeing agreed more than a year ago to pay anywhere from $40.6 million to $72.5 million, and documents filed Thursday in U.S. District Court show the final total at the high end.

If the plaintiffs' motion for speedy payment is granted, checks could be in the mail to some 17,960 current and former Boeing employees by Christmas. Otherwise, Boeing has until Jan. 14 to pay a court administrator, who would issue checks.

Individual payments range from $500 to $26,000, said Mike Helgren, the plaintiffs' lead attorney.

Boeing admitted no wrongdoing but agreed to change its hiring, pay, promotion complaint investigation practices.

"We've moved ahead on numerous fronts in making improvements to our work environment," said John Dern, a spokesman at Boeing headquarters in Chicago.


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