Friday, May 29, 2015

Decision by Federal Judge in Race Discrimination Case Handled by John A. Gallagher Featured in Legal Intelligencer

Dr. Junkins-Hopkins v. Johns Hopkins Hospital - Race Discrimination Case

Earlier this week, federal judge Gerald J. Pappert issued a decision in favor of Dr. Jacqueline Junkins-Hopkins, a prominent physician formerly employed by Johns Hopkins Hospital, who has sued the hospital for race discrimination in a case in which Dr. Junkins-Hopkins is represented by John A. Gallagher.  This ruling caught the attention of the esteemed Legal Intelligencer, which prides itself on being "the oldest law journal in the United States."

Judge Pappert, Serving on
the United States District Court for
the Eastern District of Pennsylvania
In this matter, Dr. Junkins-Hopkins was aware during her employment that she was being treated differently than her colleagues, and felt that she was often the victim of a hostile work environment. But, it was not until after she resigned from her job that she learned that certain of her superiors and colleagues had from the very inception of her employment referred to her via use of highly offensive racial epithets, including the term "black fucking bitch."

Regrettably, Still Undermining the American Dream
The hospital attempted to have the case tossed on the grounds that Dr. Junkins-Hopkins could not maintain a hostile work environment/race discrimination claim because she did not know the root cause of the disparate and hostile treatment to which she was subjected during her employment until after she had resigned.

Judge Pappert (astutely) rejected that defense:

"Here, Junkins-Hopkins alleges facts to show that she was subjectively aware that she was treated differently from her colleagues," Pappert said. "She presents the racial comments of her supervisors and co-workers only to show a causal connection between this disparate treatment and her race. Junkins-Hopkins is not precluded from maintaining her hostile work environment claim simply because her supervisors and co-workers were adept at hiding their alleged racial animosity from her."

The article continued:

John A. Gallagher of Gallagher Law Group in Berwyn represented Junkins-Hopkins and said that Pappert's opinion was "insightful, particularly given the facts of" the case.

The central holding is that "being adept at hiding discriminatory behavior is not a prophylactic that will shield a company from being liable for discriminatory" behavior, he said.

Representing Pennsylvania's Workforce
Since 1991

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