By Brendan O'Brien
Jan 24 (Reuters) - An attorney on Thursday filed a $5
million lawsuit accusing Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr
of gender and age discrimination and of wrongfully terminating
her for taking leave after adopting a child.
In a complaint filed in Washington, Pamela Levinson, 53,
accused the firm of violating the city's Family and Medical
Leave Act, the Human Rights Act and common law when it denied
her salary increases, bonuses and promotions.
"Levinson's claims are completely without merit and we will
vigorously defend the firm," Susan Murley, the law firm's
co-managing partner, said in a statement.
According to the complaint, Levinson was hired by the firm
in 2004 and earned positive performance reviews for her work.
After being promoted from associate to counsel in January
2008, her prospects diminished, despite meeting the firm's
promotion criteria, the complaint said.
"Along the way, she noticed that there appeared to be a
glass ceiling for female attorneys," said Brandon Jamison, a
Sanford Heisler attorney who represents Levinson.
In 2011, Levinson took leave to adopt a 22-month-old girl
from China. The lawsuit alleges that when Levinson returned to
work she received her first negative evaluation and a cut in
annual bonus. Her job was ultimately terminated.
Levinson was a member of the intellectual property
litigation group, the business litigation group and the
investigations and criminal litigation group at the firm.
Levinson seeks back and front pay, compensatory and punitive
damages as well as attorney fees.
The case is Pamela Levinson v. Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale
and Dorr, Superior Court for the District of Columbia, No.
For Levinson: David Sanford and Brandon Jamison of Sanford
For WilmerHale: Not immediately available.
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