SDNY: summary judgment for Bloomberg L.P. on plaintiffs’ “pattern or practice” pregnancy discrimination claim

In law school, a professor once conveyed to our Torts class a four-word phrase that can fairly be said to embody the teachings of thousands of judicial opinions over hundreds of years:  “No evidence, no win.” 

Southern District of New York Judge Loretta Preska echoed that sentiment – albeit in slightly different form (“’J’accuse!’ is not enough in court.  Evidence is required”) – in yesterday’s opinion, in which she dismissed the EEOC’s and individual plaintiffs’ “pattern or practice” pregnancy discrimination claims against Bloomberg LP.

In sum, Judge Preska found the evidence insufficient to show that Bloomberg’s “standard operating procedure” – under which Bloomberg “increased compensation for women returning from maternity leave more than for those who took similarly lengthy leaves and did not reduce the responsibilities of women returning from maternity leave any more than of those who took similarly lengthy leaves” – was discriminatory, “even if there were several isolated instances of individual discrimination.”

Her 64-page opinion in EEOC v. Bloomberg L.P. and Patricot v. Bloomberg L.P., 07-cv-8383:

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