Two female employees of Pacific Investment Management Co. filed suit against the company and individual managers Wednesday in California Superior Court in Santa Ana, accusing the money management firm of gender and disability discrimination, harassment and retaliation.
In the suit, the plaintiffs allege "numerous violations of the Fair Employment Housing Act and are seeking injunctive relief to correct the FEHA and Equal Pay Action violations," a news release from Abrolat Law PC, El Segundo, Calif., which is representing Sue Collazo, vice president of alternative operations, and Lisa Anthony, a manager in PIMCO's client management support team.
Ms. Collazo, who joined PIMCO in 2011, alleges in the suit that she has been subject to gender discrimination regarding pay compared to her male colleagues and has been subject to harassment by her manager after she complained to PIMCO's human resources department.
"The stress caused by PIMCO's discriminatory and retaliatory treatment of (Ms. Collazo) exacerbated her pre-existing medical conditions, forcing her to take a leave of absence," Abrolat's news release said.
Ms. Anthony joined PIMCO in 2007 and has experienced a number health issues in 2014 that required her to take time off work and work from home, the release said.
The suit alleges that Ms. Anthony was humiliated and harassed by her manager regarding her medical situation and because she sought assistance from PIMCO's human resources department.
In 2018, Ms. Anthony was demoted to a lower position and her compensation was reduced, the release said.
"The experience of these women at PIMCO tell a clear story of a company that is rife with discrimination," said Nancy Abrolat, the lead attorney on the case, in the release. "Despite a long track record of success, both employees have faced deliberate attempts by their managers to create intolerable working conditions. … PIMCO's dismal track record of promoting women and people of color can only be explained by an ingrained culture of discrimination and inequity, which cries out for drastic changes."
Ms. Abrolat noted in the release that other senior women employed by PIMCO sued the firm over similar allegations of discrimination, including Stacey Schaus, executive vice president and defined contribution practice leader, in 2018 and Andrea Martin Inokon, senior counsel, in 2019.
"While PIMCO has created new initiatives to address racial and gender discrimination, the lawsuit filed today shows that these issues continue to persist at the company," Ms. Abrolat said.
In response to a request for comment, PIMCO spokesman Michael Reid said in an email: "The claims in the filing have no merit, which PIMCO will demonstrate in court."
PIMCO, based in Newport Beach, Calif., managed $2.02 trillion as of Sept. 30, according to its website.