The hospital targeted the doctor with audits and suspended her research privileges after she filed a complaint.
If you have made it through medical school and residency, you have achieved a high level of success. You probably don’t think that you will have to worry about being treated poorly by your colleagues and your employer — yet that is just the situation that one doctor found herself in at UCLA Medical Center. This case demonstrates that gender discrimination and retaliation are pervasive, and can affect even people at the top of their profession.
Dr. Lauren Pinter-Brown is an oncologist who was the director of the lymphoma program at UCLA Medical Center. She experienced a range of discriminatory treatment and harassment while working there, including being called an “angry woman” and a “diva,” and being told “everybody hates you,” and “your job is not to boss the guys around.” She also made $250,000 less than her male counterparts. After an angry conversation with a subordinate physician that left her feeling unsafe, Dr. Pinter Brown filed oral and written complaints with the hospital. Rather than addressing her complaints, Dr. Pinter-Brown was targeted with audits and criticism of her work. Her research privileges were also temporarily suspended. Ultimately, because the working conditions were so intolerable, she left UCLA and took at job at UC Irvine.
With the assistance of a skilled employment retaliation attorney, Dr. Pinter-Brown brought a lawsuit under California’s anti-discrimination law based on sex and age discrimination and retaliation. Unlike federal law, California’s anti-discrimination law does not cap monetary damages. A jury found that UCLA Medical Center had discriminated against Dr. Pinter-Brown because of her sex and retaliated against her because of her complaints. The jury awarded her $13 million in damages, including $3 million in past and future economic damages and $10 million in noneconomic losses, which may include items such as emotion distress and repetitional harm. The jury found that the hospital did not discriminate against Dr. Pinter-Brown on the basis of age.
As an employment retaliation attorney can explain, retaliation occurs whenever an employer punishes an employee for engaging in legally protected activity, such as filing a complaint about harassment and discrimination. Retaliation can take many forms, such as being fired, a demotion, a salary reduction, a shift change, job reassignment, or a disciplinary action. Retaliation may also include being denied a raise or transfer, or even denying a person valuable mentoring or training opportunities.
If you have experienced retaliation for engaging in legally protected activity at work, you may be able to file a claim against your employer. Working with an employment retaliation attorney can help you determine if you have experienced legally-actionable retaliation, and what your options are for seeking compensation.
The legal professionals of PLBSH are dedicated to helping employees who have experienced harassment, discrimination or retaliation obtain justice. Contact us today at (800) 435-7542 or firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule a consultation with a seasoned employment retaliation attorney.