Proskauer Rose and its onetime chief financial officer, Elly Rosenthal, have agreed to settle a suit in which Rosenthal claimed the firm discriminated against her ahead of her March 2011 firing.
Claiming she was a victim of age, gender, and disability-related discrimination, Rosenthal, 59, first sued Proskauer in New York state court in November 2011. Earlier this year, she amended her initial complaint, abandoning the age and gender claims while leaving intact the allegation that the firm began to mistreat her after she returned to work following cancer treatment in 2008. Rosenthal worked at the firm for 18 years, most recently as its chief financial administrative officer.
In a stipulation dated June 4 and filed with the court Thursday, the two parties agreed to discontinue the matter with prejudice "and without costs to any party as against the others." A Proskauer spokeswoman said in a statement provided to The Am Law Daily that the firm "is pleased to have successfully resolved the matter." (Dechert represented the firm in the suit.) Rosenthal’s lawyer, Deborah Marcuse of Sanford Heisler, confirmed by email that the matter has been resolved but offered no additional comment.
Rosenthal claimed in her suit that she was demoted following a medical leave she took in 2008 after being diagnosed with—and treated for—breast cancer. Rosenthal alleged that while still on leave, she was given a position below that of the firm’s new CFO, James Barbaria. Rosenthal claimed Barbaria, who had previously been Proskauer’s manager of financial analytics, was less qualified for the CFO job than she was because he was not a certified public accountant and had never headed a finance department.
Over the next several years, Rosenthal alleged, firm leaders "orchestrated a concerted campaign to undermine Ms. Rosenthal’s authority." As one example of the alleged mistreatment, Rosenthal said she was exiled to an office eight blocks away when Proskauer moved to new midtown Manhattan headquarters at 11 Times Square in 2011.
Soon after Rosenthal filed the suit, Proskauer called it meritless, saying the firm was disappointed to learn that Rosenthal had initiated the litigation and that "many of our high-level managerial and administrative positions are held by women over the age of 50, and we have steadfastly supported our colleagues who have suffered illnesses or otherwise needed accommodation related to disability."