A simple lawsuit "Ayanna v. Dechert" could blow up into the symbol for post-gender times. And while it's not as juicy as the Jacki Nelson one against Jones Day and JoEllen Lyons Dillon's against Reed Smith it could be the employment suit which resonates.
According to plaintiff Ariel Ayanna, former associate at Dechert's Boston office, all was well until he took a paid paternity leave and time off under the Family and Medical Leave Act [FMLA]. Until then his performance reviews had been good for two years and for one year he received a $30,000 bonus. Then he had to attend to his pregnant wife who had had a nervous breakdown and his two children. When he returned from leave, Ayanna contends assignments were withheld in what he describes as a "macho culture" and that allegedly resulted in not meeting his quota for billable hours. It was good-bye Ayanna.
If Ayanna plays his public relations cards well he could leverage this unfortunate experience into becoming the role model of how professionals comport themselves in this post-gender age. Some opine that the nature of social media, which is based on interests, has blurred all the other categories which marketers et al. used to rely on. Instead of wondering what female Mary thinks we zero in on what yoga enthusiasts or "Mad Men" fans think.
Probably Ayanna has more career runway as a spokesperson for Family First or Human Values than he did as an attorney with only a few years practice experience.
Here on my post on AOL Jobs I provide more legal details about "Ayanna v. Dechert."