That said, it is interesting that the very able District Court Judge Stanley Chelser, in the US District Court for New Jersey recently wrote an opinion (19 page PDF file here) containing Footnote 2 at page 8, thus:
". . .While this might appear to be a smoking gun statement, it is not. According to the interrogatory, this statement was in regard to the position of Interim VP Global OE position, and not the VP Global OE position. As Defendants note, Plaintiff has expressly abandoned any claim for failure to hire for the Interim VP Global OE position, and the claim for failure to promote concerns only the VP Global OE position. Nonetheless, this evidence is probative of the proposition that Scalet considered Plaintiff’s maternity leave to be an important factor in making decisions about her employment – and, more importantly, a negative factor. . . ."It is also interesting that Mr. Scalet -- at age 53 -- is no longer listed as an Executive Committee member of Merck & Co., as of at least this week.
However, at year end 2011, in Merck's SEC Form 10-K (at page 37), he was listed as the Executive Vice President, Global Services, and Chief Information Officer of Merck & Co. [See images at right.]
It is further interesting that one Clark Golestani (see at right) is now listed as Executive Vice President and Chief Information Officer of Merck & Co., on the company's website.
Interestingly, I was alerted to all of this via an SEC Form 3, filed tonight -- an initial Section 16 filing of an executive officer, of Merck -- and the event causing the filing occured December 3, 2012. In it, we learned that -- for the very first time -- Mr. Golestani was elected a Section 16 officer of the public NYSE traded parent company.
And. . . . it is interesting that December 3, 2012 is also the date that Courthouse News Service first reported Judge Chesler's ruling. More background on the case is available at that December 3, 2012 Courthouse News Service story -- do go read it all (but here's a bit):
. . . .A woman who says Merck fired her for taking a third maternity leave can sue the drugmaker for discrimination, but not retaliation, a federal judge ruled. . . . [She] started working for Merck in 1998 and was eventually promoted to senior director of its Global Operational Excellence department in 2005. . . .
When she became pregnant with her third child in 2005, then-senior vice president of global services J. Chris Scalet allegedly told Colicchio that she would not be promoted to vice president of her division because of her plans to take a six-month maternity leave. . . .And a belated hat tip to my commenters who first mentioned the Colicchio ruling, last week. So sorry it took me so long to get to it. But this is now -- with a week's aging -- an even more interesting story -- no?
I think so.
To be fair, if anyone has solid information that would contradict the rather tenative inferences articulated here -- I'll gladly print it. Just to be fair.