Steven Cohen’s Point72 Asset Management LP asked a Manhattan judge to seal a complaint filed by an employee who claims the firm discriminates against women, a day after the document was filed in court and made public on the internet.
Lawyers for Point72 told U.S. District Judge Analisa Torres in Manhattan in a Feb. 13 letter that the legal papers contain “highly confidential and sensitive allegations about third parties,” including information about pay. The firm cited an agreement signed by the employee, Lauren Bonner, claiming she’s required to bring her complaint to private arbitration.
It isn’t necessary for Bonner to disclose the information to bring her discrimination claim, especially at such an early stage of the dispute, Victoria Woodin Chavey, a lawyer for Point72 wrote in the letter. Bonner’s aim, Chavey wrote, “is simply to harm Point72’s reputational interests, cause upset among its employees by disclosing their confidential personnel information, and perhaps, generate publicity.“
Point72, which denied Bonner’s allegations Monday, asked Torres to keep the complaint sealed until its request to move the dispute into arbitration is resolved. Torres gave Bonner until Friday to respond to the firm’s request.
Bonner, an associate director at Point72, claimed the firm hired a man from the Blackstone Group in April 2017, paying him $1.3 million to manage a team of five to eight people while Bonner made 35 percent of that for managing a team of 14. Her complaint was made public Monday after it was filed in court.
“Point72’s position appears motivated by a desire to avoid bad publicity about its alleged failure to treat female employees fairly and equally under the laws and pay them what the law requires—which is understandable, but is no basis to justify sealing judicial documents from the public,” Jeanne-Marie Bates Christensen, a lawyer representing Bonner, said in an email.
Chavey didn’t immediately respond to phone and email messages seeking comment.
The case is Bonner v. Point72 Asset Mgmt., S.D.N.Y., No. 18-01233, letter requesting temporary seal 2/13/18.
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