The monetary value of settlements of the top 10 plaintiff employment discrimination class action lawsuits paid or entered into in 2010 totaled $346.4 million, which is more than four times the amount in 2009, according to a recently announced analysis. The largest was the $175 million settlement in Velez et al. vs. Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corp., according to the report. The 664-page report analyzes 848 decisions rendered against employers in state and federal courts, including private plaintiff and government enforcement actions. The $346.4 million total for the top 10 in 2010 compares with $84.4 million for the top 10 during 2009. Velez, which received final approval Nov. 30, 2010, involved allegations that the Basel, Switzerland-based Novartis discriminated against 5,600 current and former female sales representatives in pay and promotions.
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