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Prominent Executive Resigns Amid Sex Harassment Allegations — Top Chicago Area Sex Discrimination Lawyers

Shortly after a gender discrimination lawsuit was filed against Point72, Steven Cohen’s private investment firm that he set up to manage his personal wealth, Douglas Haynes resigned as the firm’s president.

The lawsuit named Point72, Haynes, and Cohen as defendants in the lawsuit. Although the complaint did not accuse Cohen of misconduct, it did hold him responsible for what it alleges is a culture that promotes demeaning and underpaying female employees of the firm.

Haynes is specifically called out in the complaint about allegedly demeaning women. According to the lawsuit, Haynes allegedly called one of the women working for him a “dumb blonde” and kept the word “pussy” written on a whiteboard in his office for several weeks. Women were allegedly required to attend meetings with Haynes, and other men, in his office with the explicit reference to their genitals on display.

The lawsuit further alleges that women were underrepresented at the executive level, with only one woman making it to portfolio manager alongside 124 men.

Cohen set up the private firm after shutting down his last firm, SAC Capital Advisors, which admitted to insider trading and paid about $1.8 billion in fines and penalties to settle those charges. Haynes was brought in as president of Point72 specifically to help give the firm’s public image a boost by improving the company’s culture and proving to federal authorities that it could maintain high ethical standards.

Since Haynes allegedly failed to accomplish that goal, it’s hard to believe the current discrimination lawsuit against him doesn’t have something to do with his decision to resign, although the company insists that the two are unrelated. The company sent a letter to its employees on Friday in which it announced Haynes’s resignation while insisting it had nothing to do with the outstanding charges of discrimination and misconduct against him. Cohen said he would be taking over as president of the firm until a replacement for Haynes could be found.

Whether the lawsuit facing Point72 could interfere with the firm’s chances of going public remains to be seen. After a suspension from publicly managing hedge funds, which just ended this year, Cohen had been preparing to take Point72 public and begin managing an additional $2 million to $4 million from outside investors. But after Cohen’s public humiliation of a few years ago (although Cohen himself was never charged with misconduct, his association with the firm still left many investors wary of letting him manage their funds) the discrimination lawsuit is certainly another factor to consider when investors decide whether to trust Cohen’s new firm with their money.

The attorney representing the plaintiff in the gender bias lawsuit said that Haynes’s resignation will not have any effect on the impending litigation. According to a statement she gave The New York Times, they are still planning on aggressively pursuing her client’s claims against Haynes, as well as Cohen and Point72.

Changing a company’s culture requires much more than one man’s resignation – especially when the company operates in a heavily male-dominated industry.

Our Chicago employment discrimination and non-compete agreement attorneys have defended high-level executives and professionals, such as doctors, in a covenant not to compete, trade secret lawsuits and discrimination case. A case in which our firm defended a former Motorola executive was covered in Crain’s Chicago Business. You can view that article by clicking here.

DiTommaso Lubin Austermuehle a firm of Chicago employment and business dispute lawyers handles litigation over non-compete clauses for individuals and businesses of all sizes, including small or closely held businesses for whom competition from an ex-employee can be a serious threat. Our Chicago business lawyers with offices near Evanston and Skokie have substantial experience in restrictive covenant and breach of contract cases, and we are proud of our record of strong results. We have successfully represented a number of doctors in non-compete, partnership, and other business disputes.  We understand the complexities of physician partnership and non-compete agreements.

DiTommaso Lubin Austermuehle a Chicago business litigation law firm represents both plaintiffs and defendants in such cases, and can also help stop litigation before it starts by reviewing contracts to look for covenants and clauses that could create problems later. Our firm has also handled many shareholders and LLC disputes between owners of closely held corporations, and LLCs.

Based in Oakbrook Terrace and downtown Chicago, our Morton Grove and Lincolnwood non-compete agreement and business dispute lawyers take cases from Evanston and Skokie and many other cities throughout Illinois, as well as in Indiana, Wisconsin and the entire United States. To learn more or set up a free consultation, please contact one of our Chicago business dispute lawyers through the Internet or call toll-free at 1-877-990-4990 today.

Vincent L. DiTommaso

DiTommaso Lubin Austermuehle’s Oak Brook and Willowbrook non-compete agreement litigation attorneys have more than three decades of experience helping clients unravel the complexities of Illinois and out-of-state non-compete and trade secret theft laws. Our Chicago business dispute attorneys also represent individuals, family businesses and enterprises of all sizes in a variety of legal disputes, including disputes among partners, shareholders, and LLC members as well as lawsuits between businesses and consumer rights, auto fraud, and wage claim individual and class action cases. In every case, our goal is to resolve disputes as quickly and successfully as possible, helping business clients protect their investments and get back to business as usual. From offices in Oak Brook, near Barrington and Lake Forest, we serve clients throughout Illinois and the Midwest.