Dr. Carol Warfield, a Harvard doctor, who said she endured years of sexist treatment at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, will not only collect a $7 million settlement in a gender bias lawsuit, but will also have the hospital’s pain clinic named in her honor.
According to a news report in The Boston Globe, the hospital’s settlement with Warfield, former chief of anesthesia, appears to be one of the largest for a gender discrimination case in Massachusetts. However, it can be difficult to compare because most of these settlements tend to remain confidential. It is also typical for employers in these cases to pay the settlement and not admit to wrongdoing.
Allegations of Sexism and Gender Discrimination
Warfield became chief of anesthesia at the hospital in 2000. She claimed in her lawsuit that the chief of surgery at the hospital discriminated against her because she is a woman by openly ignoring her during meetings and even lobbying to remove her from her job. When she complained to the then-chief executive at the hospital, she said, both men retaliated against her and forced her out. Warfield sued the two male doctors and the hospital’s physician group in 2008. The settlement came just before a trial was scheduled to begin on the matter.
In addition to the settlement amount, the hospital agreed to clarify its policies and procedures for employees reporting discrimination and retaliation. The hospital also agreed to sponsor an annual lecture series on women’s health and the academic contributions of women in surgery. Warfield will also retain her endowed professorship as part of the settlement. Warfield’s attorneys said the settlement factored in Warfield’s high earning potential as a prominent anesthesiologist.
Fighting Injustice in the Workplace
This lawsuit is just another piece of proof that it is never easy to stand up and fight against gender bias and discrimination. This female doctor paid a high price for doing so, according to her lawsuit. She lost her job and her remarkable earning potential. She also had to fight for many years to regain her standing in the medical community and her reputation. This is typically how these cases go. The challenges and roadblocks to justice are many. But, wronged employees are often successful when they have quality legal representation on their side. It definitely takes an employment lawyer who is tenacious and passionate about the pursuit of justice to go after these employers and make sure that justice is served.