Ex-LeClairRyan employee settles pay discrimination lawsuit
Financial terms not disclosed in second gender pay case against now-defunct firm.
Former LeClairRyan PLLC employee Marci Keatts settled her gender pay discrimination lawsuit against the defunct firm for an undisclosed amount, according to a Nov. 22 court order by Richmond U.S. District Judge Robert E. Payne.
The Richmond-based firm, once the fifth-largest in the state, shut down in October under Chapter 7 dissolution after filing for bankruptcy protection in September. At its peak, the firm employed more than 350 attorneys in 21 offices nationwide, reaching from New York to Los Angeles.
In July, Keatts, a former marketing coordinator and manager who was employed by the firm beginning in 2010, sued LeClairRyan and ULX Partners LLC, claiming that she was paid “significantly less” than a lower-ranking male employee.
LeClairRyan entered into a joint venture in 2018 with legal services provider UnitedLex, or ULX Partners, to employ the law firm’s office staffers, including Keatts.
After she filed a charge of discrimination in April 2018 with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission against LeClairRyan, Keatts briefly continued her employment at ULX Partners, but alleged in her complaint that ULX Partners continued to pay her unfairly as part of a broader pattern of discrimination.
Keatts resigned from LeClairRyan/ULX Partners in late May 2018 and sought damage payments under the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act of 2009, which allows individuals who face pay discrimination to seek rectification via federal antidiscrimination laws.
The financial terms of the settlement weren’t disclosed, but earlier this month, a bankruptcy judge ruled that former LeClairRyan partner Michele Craddock, who won a pay discrimination claim against the firm last year, could collect a $885,000 arbitration award from LeClairRyan’s insurer, OneBeacon Insurance Group of Minnesota.