Dr. Carol Warfield recently receive a $7-million-dollar settlement from a Harvard Medical School teaching hospital after filing claims of gender discrimination. Warfield’s lawsuit alleged that she was demoted from department chairwoman for being “too aggressive” and for failing to maintain a good relationship with a colleague who constantly treated her like a second-class citizen because she was a woman.
According to the lawsuit, former surgery chief, Dr. Josef Fischer began treating Warfield in an abusive and demeaning mannershortly after joining the hospital staff. Warfield alleged that Fischer was uncomfortable working with women and once told a group of nurses that he preferred working with, and hiring, light-skinned, Western-educated men. According to Warfield, Fischer often ignored her during staff meetings. If she attempted to talk with him, he would reply to one of her male colleagues rather than talk directly to her.
In her lawsuit, Warfield claims she was labeled “aggressive” after complaining about Fischer’s ridiculous behavior and sexist comments. Hospital chief executive Paul Levy brushed aside her complaints and accused her of whining and “playing the victim.” Our employment lawyers call that opposing unlawful conduct.
The final straw came when Levy demoted Warfield based, in part, on her stormy relationship with Dr. Fischer. That’s when she sued.
Under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, gender discrimination and harassment in the workplace is unacceptable and illegal, and it is an employer’s responsibility to make sure employees know that harassment will not be tolerated. An employer who does not take complaints about harassment seriously could end up paying thousands or even millions of dollars to settle claims that could have, and should have, been avoided.
In this case, Dr. Warfield refused to tip-toe around Dr. Fischer’s offensive and childish behavior, and in return for standing up for herself she was called “aggressive” and demoted. The law is clear that women in the work place do not have to meekly accept being treated like second-class citizens, and the $7-million-dollar settlementin this case proves it.
If you feel that you are being discriminated based on your gender or sex, then call the right attorney. It is never appropriate to discriminate against female employees
Discrimination against women includes being harassed, fired, wrongfully terminated, discriminated against, demoted, wrongfully disciplined, and denied wages. When you call the right attorney to schedule a free and confidential consultation at 866-797-6040, you will meet with an attorney from The Spitz Law Firm to discuss wrongful discrimination claims and help you determine the best way to pursue your gender/sex discrimination claims.
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