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Was reading through a lawsuit, alleges gender discrimination at Specialized

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Was reading through a lawsuit, alleges gender discrimination at Specialized

Old 12-26-20, 10:52 AM
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helmet4000
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Was reading through a lawsuit, alleges gender discrimination at Specialized


Wouldn't want to be a woman working there. If the allegations are basically credible, which I suspect to be the case because the EEOC gave the complainant the right to sue in federal court.
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Old 12-26-20, 10:55 AM
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How a major mfg allegedly thinks of customers and price points...

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Old 12-26-20, 10:58 AM
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Specialized has an over-active litigation department. Now it looks like they will have something to do. Heh.
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Old 12-26-20, 12:40 PM
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It was also alleged that Mike Sinyard decided to invite a 20-something junior staffer to Burning Man, though Specialized has not business activities at the festival and that Sinyard knew the female employee was engaged to be married.
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Old 12-26-20, 12:50 PM
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Alleged discrimination lawsuits are a dime-a-dozen. Some are valid, some are not. What's the point of this thread?
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Old 12-26-20, 01:20 PM
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Pretty much every decent-sized organization experiences these things...It'd be surprising if they didn't have a few such lawsuits in their dossier.
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Old 12-26-20, 01:23 PM
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Looks to me, if the allegations are correct, then Specialized is hobbling its own business objectives.

The lawsuit is interesting because it provides insight to the inner-workings of a major privately-held bicycle company.

Specialized also has employees sign a binding arbitration agreement but the woman filing this suit and attorneys claim it is not strong enough.
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Old 12-26-20, 01:51 PM
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Originally Posted by tomato coupe View Post
Alleged discrimination lawsuits are a dime-a-dozen. Some are valid, some are not. What's the point of this thread?
BRAIN actually reported it, I routinely use PACER so I pulled up the suit to read it myself. Ick, if true. Especially the alleged abuse of HR database to give the CEO contact info.

https://www.bicycleretailer.com/indu...t#.X-eSOuQ8KEc
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Old 12-26-20, 04:36 PM
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I am past shocked.
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Old 12-26-20, 05:25 PM
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Originally Posted by helmet4000 View Post

Wouldn't want to be a woman working there. If the allegations are basically credible, which I suspect to be the case because the EEOC gave the complainant the right to sue in federal court.
The EEOC issues a right to sue letter in virtually all cases. It means they did not find enough for the government to act on it, but if the claimant wants to sue they can. Nothing should be taken from a right to sue letter and it does not mean there is merit to the complaint.

Also, don't forget that its the lawyers job to write the court complaint in a manner that puts the defendant in the worst possible light.
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Old 12-26-20, 05:32 PM
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Originally Posted by helmet4000 View Post
BRAIN actually reported it, I routinely use PACER so I pulled up the suit to read it myself. Ick, if true. Especially the alleged abuse of HR database to give the CEO contact info.

https://www.bicycleretailer.com/indu...t#.X-eSOuQ8KEc
Reading that article, it doesn't look like she has much of a case. Should be easy for Specialized to prove a non-descriminatory basis for the layoff. I wouldn't be surprised that it gets settled with her pocketing $20 or 30k simply because that will be a whole lot cheaper than litigation expenses.
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Old 12-26-20, 06:03 PM
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It sounds like they cited COVID for the layoff. I read the actual complaint not just the BRAIN article which is where the details are listed—it is a 59 page complaint. Likely significant documentation , I doubt Specialized will want a jury trial or much discovery taking place. Probably will settle, interesting to see how the arbitration agreement gets interpreted by court.
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Old 12-26-20, 06:15 PM
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Originally Posted by helmet4000 View Post
It sounds like they cited COVID for the layoff. I read the actual complaint not just the BRAIN article which is where the details are listed—it is a 59 page complaint. Likely significant documentation , I doubt Specialized will want a jury trial or much discovery taking place. Probably will settle, interesting to see how the arbitration agreement gets interpreted by court.
59 pages doesn't mean anything. It tells me that the plaintiffs lawyers are trying to try the case in the media with hopes that Specialized will not want bad press.

As for arb. the court will kick it to arb in virtually every case if there in an arb agreement. Cases like this brought by an individual, as opposedto a group of individuals,, are pretty hard to win if you are a plaintiff.

I'd check back in 6 months and see if a summary judgement has been entered by the court in Spec's favor.
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Old 12-26-20, 06:26 PM
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If you have never experienced or otherwise observed someone taking or receiving credit for another's work, perhaps you should get a job and experience the real world.

Mojo31 makes a number of good points. Discrimination suits must be vetted through the EEOC. They do a thorough investigation and will bring the law suit if they believe that there is actionable discrimination. If the EEOC doesn't find actionable discrimination, they issue the right to sue letter and the complainant can then bring a law suit on their own. Remember that anyone can sue anyone for anything. Frivolous suits can be dismissed very early on and never proceed much past the pleadings. The real issue is whether you can sue successfully. These plaintiffs will need to show that their continued employment was impacted, not just that the management was mean or even unfair. Did they lose money or were they deprived of opportunities for promotion, etc.? It needs to be more than just hurt feelings. Yes, they were laid off but the pandemic issues cloud things.

As for the arbitration issue, many if not most large corporations include mandatory arbitration in lieu of litigation clauses in their employment contracts. Courts regularly uphold such agreements in employment contracts.

I need to read the complete complaint. This will make an excellent case to use in an upcoming class regardless of its outcome.

Last edited by MAK; 12-26-20 at 06:40 PM.
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Old 12-26-20, 06:31 PM
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It could be gender but could very easily not be as well.
It is common for people to take the credit for anothers work regardless of gender.
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Old 12-26-20, 06:46 PM
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FWIW Specialized also sued an LBS in Canada that was named Cafe Roubaix. They claimed it was an infringement of their product name. I wonder how they got it from the original Roubaix in France. As a result I have never purchased a Specialized bike. And, I won't buy a Trek for what they did in the Lance Armstrong debacle.
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Old 12-26-20, 06:57 PM
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I wonder why anyone would read a 59 page lawsuit if they weren't being paid or otherwise had some involvement.
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Old 12-26-20, 07:05 PM
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Originally Posted by bruce19 View Post
FWIW Specialized also sued an LBS in Canada that was named Cafe Roubaix. They claimed it was an infringement of their product name. I wonder how they got it from the original Roubaix in France. As a result I have never purchased a Specialized bike. And, I won't buy a Trek for what they did in the Lance Armstrong debacle.
I don't like that names can be usurped and trademarked. But this case is funny. Specialized (actually the law firm they have contracted for years) sent a cease and desist letter to the bike shop. Someone posted it on the web and it went viral. Then it surfaced that Specialized doesn't own the name "Roubaix". The parent company to Fuji does and "rents" rights to Specialized. (Forget the term.) That company was contacted. The CEO said to effect that "well, we do have the rights to the name. We will have to contact the bike shop. I'm sure we can work something out."
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Old 12-26-20, 08:12 PM
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Originally Posted by bruce19 View Post
FWIW Specialized also sued an LBS in Canada that was named Cafe Roubaix. They claimed it was an infringement of their product name. I wonder how they got it from the original Roubaix in France. As a result I have never purchased a Specialized bike. And, I won't buy a Trek for what they did in the Lance Armstrong debacle.
Maybe they'll sue the Highway Department for using the word "Tarmac."
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Old 12-26-20, 08:27 PM
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I've worked in engineering for 35 years, much of that time for Fortune 500 companies. In my experience, blatant dismissal of women's' capabilities and contributions in engineering is so common I'd consider it normal, tolerance of sexual harassment by men toward women is normal, and tolerance for women complaining about any of this is low. Filing a harassment complaint is career threatening for the complainant, regardless of what happened. Things are not as blatant today as they were 30 years ago, but it's not exactly subtle, either. Denial that any of this a problem is strong. The cool thing for companies is, they can be extraordinarily corrupt and inept, but as long as the competition is no better, there's no need to change.
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Old 12-27-20, 12:07 AM
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Welp, so much the better for companies like WyndyMilla that will happily custom build a bike for women.
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Old 12-27-20, 12:39 AM
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I read lawsuits all the time. Couple that being a cyclist and thinking of all the times I heard this or that about Spesh.

EEOC is vastly under-resourced, having seen a relative go through their process.

There is some interesting stuff in the complaint. Like:

"This was Mr. Jones modus operandi. His design aesthetic resonated with a certain
demographic – guys who wanted their racing stripe-laden bikes to match their cars – but Ms.
Clarot’s design was on most models that sold out that model year. He acted in his self-interest by
trying to kill a woman’s successful design. Just like the Olympic bike debacle, Mr. Jones’
objection was overridden and Ms. Clarot’s design continued to be produced notwithstanding Mr.
Jones’ belief in last century’s marketing tropes."

I had never before men or whoever wanted their road bikes to match their cars. But I have a two Toyotas SUVs, so what do I know.
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Old 12-27-20, 12:54 AM
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Looking through what types of suits Specialized is involved in, this is a rare one. Another person sued in 2013 for gender discrimination, seems Specialized appealed one court saying the arbitration agreement was in effect after a trial court said it was not.

In Federal Court (I'm sure there must be more in California state courts), Specialized has a lot of suits involving product liability (presumably this is normal in the industry), but also a lot involve local bike shops that apparently couldn't pay Specialized back for inventory and LBS owners filing for bankruptcy who list Specialized as one of their creditors. Promissory notes, etc.

Looks like Specialized has agreements that allow them remote access to QuickBooks and inventory systems.
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Old 12-27-20, 03:07 AM
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Originally Posted by bruce19 View Post
FWIW Specialized also sued an LBS in Canada that was named Cafe Roubaix. They claimed it was an infringement of their product name. I wonder how they got it from the original Roubaix in France. As a result I have never purchased a Specialized bike. And, I won't buy a Trek for what they did in the Lance Armstrong debacle.
Plus, social smugness is worth at least 30 watts, thereby negating the aero advantages of a Tarmac. Well done.
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Old 12-27-20, 11:14 AM
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Originally Posted by aplcr0331 View Post
Plus, social smugness is worth at least 30 watts, thereby negating the aero advantages of a Tarmac. Well done.
Thank you. I thought so.
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