Attorney Sharan Rene Boudreau has filed a lawsuit against her former employer, telecommunications giant Nokia. The federal lawsuit, filed last week in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas, alleges Boudreau was the victim of gender and age discrimination and was fired by Nokia for complaining about the discrimination when she was passed over for a promotion.
The complaint alleges Boudreau’s issues began in 2016 when she applied to be the temporary head of customer operations legal and compliance for North America. Though she did not get that position, Nassib Abou-Khalil, the global head of customer operations, legal, and compliance, invited her to apply to be the permanent head of customer operations, legal, and compliance for North America when the position became available. Boudreau did not get that position either, and, according to the complaint, Abou-Khalil cited her lack of managerial experience in denying her the position, despite her having direct reports and prior managerial experience at other jobs. As reported by Corporate Counsel, complaint alleges this is not how other male employees were treated at Nokia:
She claims that is inconsistent with how male employees in the legal department were treated. The complaint cites three instances where men in the legal department went from having no direct reports to being promoted to manager positions. The head of customer operations legal and compliance for North America position remained open until January 2018 when Jody Bishop, who came from outside of the company, was hired for the role. Boudreau met Bishop through a video call before he started and said he looked 10 years younger than her. In the complaint Boudreau says Bishop became uncomfortable when she started asking about his experience.
Boudreau is being represented by Hal K. Gillespie of Gillespie Sanford, who described the case as “gender discrimination of the worst kind.”
In August of 2018, Boudreau filed a gender and age discrimination complaint against Nokia with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and the Civil Rights Division of the Texas Workforce Commission. Boudreau says she was fired in October of that year for complaining about the alleged discrimination.
Nokia has not yet commented on the lawsuit.
Kathryn Rubino is a Senior Editor at Above the Law, and host of The Jabot podcast. AtL tipsters are the best, so please connect with her. Feel free to email her with any tips, questions, or comments and follow her on Twitter (@Kathryn1).