Jury Finds Novartis Guilty Of Discrimination

NEW YORK (AP) -- A jury has decided that the drug company Novartis engaged in a pattern of discrimination against women, paying them less than men and treating pregnant women unfavorably.

The verdict was returned Monday in Manhattan federal court.

The jury awarded a total of several million dollars in compensatory damages to a dozen women who had worked at the company. It said it was appropriate for punitive damages to be assessed, though it did not decide how much.

The case went to trial after a lawsuit alleged that Novartis had disrespected its female workers since 2002. It said it paid them less than men, promoted few of them and allowed a hostile workplace dominated by an old boys network to flourish.

Both sides declined to comment immediately.

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