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Detroit law firm Honigman Miller Schwartz and Cohn sued for discrimination by ex-assistant

Alan Schwartz, the former chairman of Detroit-based law firm Honigman Miller Schwartz and Cohn is being sued by his former executive assistant for gender and disability discrimination.

In the complaint, Denise Fitzhenry claims that “Despite her excellent performance, Defendant Schwartz created a hostile environment for Plaintiff based on her gender.  Job classifications are very gender segregated at Defendant Honigman. For example, of more than 200 secretaries at the firm, less than 1% are male, while there are very few women in the highest level positions in the firm.”

After Fitzhenry sustained a severe work-related back injury, she claims that Schwartz became “extremely hostile” towards her, that he refused to permit her to take regular breaks that other employees received, that he forced Fitzhenry to cancel doctor and physical therapy appointments, and that he became angry when she sought assistance lifting heavy files from other coworkers.

Fitzhenry alleges that when she requested a transfer to an open position to “get away from the harassment” of Schwartz, her request was denied and “she was told that the only way she could get away from Defendant Schwartz was to leave the firm.”

Fitzhenry filed a charge of discrimination with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, and received a right to sue letter from the EEOC on September 29, 2010.

Fitzhenry’s attorney, Deborah Gordon, told The Am Law Daily that “Schwartz is notoriously hard to work for.”

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Detroit law firm Honigman Miller Schwartz and Cohn sued for discrimination by ex-assistant
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