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Former Proskauer Rose CFO Says She Was Demoted After Breast Cancer Diagnosis

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Elly Rosenthal (credit: CBS 2)

Elly Rosenthal (credit: CBS 2)

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NEW YORK (CBS 2) — It’s bad enough being diagnosed with breast cancer, but can you imagine losing your job because of it?

That’s what one high-ranking executive said happened to her and now she’s suing a prominent New York law firm.

Elly Rosenthal is doing something she never expected to do — sue the law firm where she worked for 18 years. She told CBS 2′s John Slattery that is was “demoralizing and sad that my career there would end like this.”

The 57-year-old certified public accountant was the Chief Financial Officer at the law firm Proskauer Rose. It is one of the larger firms in the city, specializing in employment law and employment discrimination, which is what Rosenthal is now charging.

Rosenthal said that her case constituted “gender, age and perceived disability discrimination.”

Following breast cancer surgery three years ago, Rosenthal took a three-month leave. After that, she said, she was demoted with a salary cut.

Rosenthal said the firm “cut me out of certain communications, certain events that were taking place in the firm — I was not a part of. I was starting to be marginalized,” she said.

Rosenthal said after her recovery, she was fully capable of performing the duties she had done for nearly two decades. A spokesman for Proskauer Rose said the firm had “no comment” on the lawsuit.

A firm that has made its name defending employers in discrimination suits now finds itself on the receiving end of such a suit, filed by one of its own.

Rosenthal is seeking $10 million in damages.

What is your reaction to this lawsuit?  Share your thoughts in the comments section…

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