Product News and Recalls

Discrimination suit against Yaz maker expanded

A class action sex discrimination suit against Bayer HealthCare Pharmaceuticals has been expanded, according to a report in the Pittsburgh Post Gazette.

An amended complaint filed last month in federal court in New Jersey alleges that female sales representatives were paid less and promoted less often than their male counterparts. The amended complaint also claims women in the consumer care division were sexually harassed by Bayer executives and the company ignored their requests for help.

Six current and former female employees filed the original complaint in March in U.S. District Court on behalf of other women at the company. It alleges Bayer executives were openly hostile to women — especially pregnant women, working mothers, and women who took maternity leavs — and are seeking $100 million in lost salary and benefits.

The amended complaint mentions a senior sales consultant who said that in 2009, she was replaced in a district trainer position based in Boise, Idaho, by a male colleague who had lower sales results and lower overall performance. When she asked a manager why, he replied that the male candidate was “more into [the man’s] career path, not yours.”

Since then, the male supervisor has declined to consider her for any promotions and exhibits hostile behavior to her compared with how he treats male employees, the complaint said.

A financial specialist in the consumer care division also complained that despite several exceptional performance awards, she received less pay than male colleagues and was subjected to sexual harassment and retaliation for reporting the harassment.

Bayer is also facing thousands of lawsuits from plaintiffs who claim they’ve suffered from blood clots, pulmonary embolism, and stroke brought on by Yaz, Beyaz, Yasmin, Ocella, and other birth control pills containing the synthetic hormones drospirenone.

A number of studies show that Beyaz and the other contraceptives with drospirenone cause a significantly higher risk of blood clots, and the plaintiffs allege that Bayer failed to adequately warn them of the risks.

Patients should consult their doctors before making any changes in their medication. A consultation with a Beyaz lawyer is also important if there are significant injuries.

See the report here: