Francine Katz
10:58 am
Tue June 14, 2011

Gender discrimination suit against AB-InBev can go to trial

A former top executive at Anheuser-Busch who sued the company for gender discrimination will be able to take her case to trial.

The Missouri Court of Appeals ruled today that Francine Katz's discrimination case does not have to be settled by arbitration. 

From a summary of the ruling, prepared by the Court of Appeals:

The trial court did not err in finding that two separate arbitration agreements were unenforceable against Katz, as one agreement terminated prior to Katz filing her claim, and a valid, enforceable contract was never concluded with regard to the second agreement. The trial court also did not err in considering Katz’s subsequent motion to stay arbitration proceedings or in granting said motion.

Katz sued the company in 2009, alleging that she had long been paid less than male counterparts for the same work, and that the company encouraged a "locker room" and "frat party" atmosphere.

When she left the company at the end of 2009, Katz was A-B's vice president of communications and consumer affairs. She alleged that in 2007, she still made just 46 percent of what her predecessor had made, despite holding those positions for five years.

Katz's attorney, Mary Anne Sedey, called the ruling "gratifying." Representatives of Anheuser-Busch did not immediately return calls for comment.