Well, things have changed in my life that have begun to impact my posting frequency so I really appreciate the support of readers when I last spoke of this change of life (no, not menopause).
I’ve even gotten so distracted that I have neglected to read the daily fishwrapper – that is until today’s recycling when I stood outside on the street at 6 am rummaging through my blue bin to read Tuesday’s paper (hell, it was news to me). At least I was courteous enough to the neighbors to throw on a pair of shorts.
In it, I learned that an academic physician settled with her employer for $200K after being reduced to 40% salary following her maternity leave. That’s not all, so I will provide the text and ask you to comment before I tell you that I think the doc still got the short end of the stick (oops, I already told you), particularly since the case illustrated a pattern of hostile work environment toward other women physicians:
Dr. Adrea Theodore sued the university last year over discrimination on the basis of sex, pregnancy and race. The lawsuit alleged that several female faculty members complained of sex discrimination in pediatrics. . .
. . .Her attorney, Caitlyn Fulghum, said the mediated settlement represented a large amount for a state agency. But Fulghum added, “You can’t ever really undo the damage from something like this. Her career has been compromised in a way that’s impossible to fix.”. . .
. . .In 2004, Theodore became pregnant at the same time as another colleague in the department, the lawsuit said, and the two doctors had the same due date. . .
. . .Theodore took family medical leave in December 2004 and planned to return to work in April 2005. But in a meeting with [her superiors] in 2005, the lawsuit said, Theodore was told that she would have to choose between a part-time position or a terminated contract in July. Theodore also was told she could no longer perform clinical duties and be paid by the department but that she could work part time in a research-only position in another department, reducing her pay by 40 percent and making her ineligible for benefits.
Theodore, who is black, alleged in the suit that white faculty members were given department funding. . .
. . .Fulghum said there was never any performance problem or negative evaluation of Theodore. . . .
. . .Theodore met with other female faculty members in the department to discuss discrimination complaints in 2005. Male physicians were commonly introduced as “Dr.,” the lawsuit said, while female doctors were introduced by their first names. One faculty member was told she could not be serious about her career if she had another child, the lawsuit said, and another professor was denied a request for a door on her cubicle so she could pump breast milk for her infant. There was no lactation facility for faculty in the department that routinely advises its patients to breast-feed, the suit said.
Of course, various caveats apply because the employer pleaded “no comment” due to this being a personnel issue and the fact that the settlement did not require any statement of wrongdoing by the employer.
I have no personal knowledge of or interaction with any of the players here but something just sounds a little out of whack for my bullshit detector.
In closing, the chairman of a panel assigned to investigate these issues, “remarked that ‘all of this started because some women wanted to pump their breasts,’ according to the suit.’”
Way to marginalize the situation, chief.