A high-ranking General Electric Co. lawyer fighting her demotion filed a lawsuit against the industrial conglomerate Thursday in which she accused it of gender discrimination.

Lorene F. Schaefer said she was placed on paid administrative leave earlier this month from her job as general counsel for Erie, Pa.-based GE Transportation. She filed the lawsuit, which seeks to represent about 1,500 female employees, in U.S. District Court in Bridgeport, Conn.