Judge Gerard E. Lynch, of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, has certified a class in a gender discrimination action filed in November 2004 on behalf of Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corp. female sales representatives.

In Velez v. Novartis Pharmaceuticals, 04 Civ. 9194, the female employees claimed that Novartis, a company with about 6,000 employees headquartered in East Hanover, N.J., subjected them to pay, promotion and pregnancy discrimination in violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

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