Mahl v. Millar Elevator Service Corp., et al.

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December 2002
  • Workplace Equality and Economic Empowerment
  • Litigation Case Document
Legal Momentum served as co-counsel for the plaintiff with the law firm of Goodman & Zuchlewski. 

Summary of the Case

We settled this lawsuit, which we filed on behalf of our client, Nancy Mahl. Ms. Mahl was one of only a few women elevator mechanics (out of over 500) who work in the New York division of Schindler Elevator Corporation, the world's second largest elevator company. Like many jobs in the skilled trades, elevator construction pays well (up to and over $100,000 per year), offers good benefits, and provides opportunities for career advancement. However, despite decades of efforts, these jobs remain largely off-limits to women.

The lawsuit alleged that from the time she entered the elevator constructor apprenticeship program in 1996, Ms. Mahl had been subjected to sexual harassment, beginning with the use of overtly sexist training materials during the apprenticeship and including frequent, egregious harassment by her supervisor. Ms. Mahl also alleged that she had been unfairly demoted, and that she had fewer overtime and training opportunities than men. The Complaint is available for download.

Outcome of the Case

While Schindler denied these allegations, it cooperated in reaching a settlement that takes affirmative steps to help women get into the elevator trade, and to ensure equal treatment of women once they get in. The company has agreed to training of all its mechanics and their supervisors to prevent sexual harassment, and made meaningful improvements in its anti-discrimination policies and complaint mechanisms.