A gay senior associate in the Los Angeles office of New York’s White & Case has sued the firm for sexual harassment and sex discrimination, claiming two male partners created a “intimidating, hostile and offensive work environment” through inappropriate comments and behavior.
In a suit filed June 2 in Los Angeles County Superior Court, Christopher M. Meekins, a corporate associate at the firm since 2002, accuses partners Jerry Bloom and James Cairns of making unwelcome sexual advances in addition to frequently commenting on Meekins’ physical appearance and inquiring about his personal life.
Meekins, 34, says he rebuffed both partners and complained about their behavior. He claims the firm retaliated against him by withholding work assignments, denying him a promised promotion and freezing his salary.
The suit names the firm, Bloom, Cairns and Richard Smith, the executive partner of the Los Angeles office, as defendants. Meekins has also named a number of Doe defendants — White & Case employees involved in the events at issue whose identities he says he has yet to ascertain.