Wigdor LLP successfully secured a $900,000 judgment on behalf of its client, Erin McKenna, against Santander, her former employer. Ms. McKenna sued the bank and Omar Kariuki, her former supervisor, for sex and pregnancy discrimination, and retaliation. In July, a federal court ruled that Wigdor attorneys presented sufficient evidence for a jury to find that Santander and Mr. Kariuki slashed McKenna’s bonuses, stripped her of accounts and terminated her employment because she was pregnant, took maternity leave and complained about discrimination. Last week, the court also ruled that there was sufficient evidence for a jury to find that the defendants discriminated against Ms. Mckenna because she is a caregiver. With a trial set to begin in a matter of weeks, rather than face a jury, Santander agreed to accept a judgment substantially awarding Ms. McKenna her economic damages, attorneys’ fees and costs. The judgment is a matter of public record and has the same legal effect as if Ms. McKenna prevailed at trial.
Statement from Wigdor Partner Valdi Licul
“Erin is an extraordinary person and was a superb employee. Her perseverance and courage to challenge a global financial institution like Santander should stand as an example to the many women who have had their careers derailed simply because they wanted to start a family. All too often, employers act as if women can either be mothers or productive employees, but not both. Erin’s recovery sends a powerful message that such an attitude is against the law.”
Statement from Erin McKenna
“I was devasted when Santander fired me when I was three-and-half months pregnant. With the help of my attorneys, Valdi Licul and John Crain, I fought back and held Santander accountable. I hope this victory encourages other women, especially in finance, to find the courage to do the same.”