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Read the following hypothetical. Using your issue-spotting skills, analyze the potential exposure to liability of the Accounting Firm based on the actions of the Partnership Review Committee.
Anne is an accountant at a large Accounting Firm. She applied for Partner, but was denied. In their report, the all-male Partnership Review Committee stated that Anne would have a better chance at making Partner if she wore makeup, jewelry, and acted more femininely. Over the past 10 years with the Firm, Anne has received excellent performance evaluations and recently secured a $10M client for the Firm.
Instructions: Please write in essay format. Include the guidance below in your analysis:
a) Set forth the federal statute and/or theories of law that are applicable.
b) Identify the legal issue(s) that exist and claims that may be brought based on the facts of the case.
c) Apply the facts of the case to the elements of the law/theories of law.
d) Cite a case in the text which is on point with the scenario, or compare and contrast with a case in the text.
e) Provide an action item agenda of specific objectives you would recommend implementing in order to prevent future exposure to liability. Be specific (e.g., if training is a recommendation, describe the type of training in detail).
When presented with the information regarding Anne and how she was treated by the male partners brings up a couple red flags on gender discrimination and gender stereotyping. “Title VII and state fair-employment-practice laws regarding gender cover the full scope of the employment relationship. Unless it is a BFOQ, gender may not be the basis of any decision related to employment” (Bennett-Alexander, 2019). Title VII is very clear that employee hiring, firing and promotion can have nothing to do with gender. When Anne was given her reasoning for not being moved to partner their reasons all had to do with not being female enough which has nothing do do with her job productivity. There is even mention of a $10M client she brought to the firm which shows just how successful she is. These gender based requirements from the partners are undoubtedly coming from ingrained gender stereotypes. ” Workplace decisions based on stereotypes are prohibited by Title VII” (Bennett-Alexander, 2019). The stereotypes clearly listed by the male partners; wearing makeup, jewelry and acting more femininely are all examples of how people feel women should act but again, have little to do with their job performance. There is a case that almost exactly parallels the example provided. The case of Price Waterhouse v. Hopkins 490 U.S. 228 (1989) examines the allegations that gender stereotyping was the reason that a woman was not promoted to partner even though she displayed a high work ethic and was qualified for the promotion. Ann Hopkins was told she was too aggressive and unduly harsh, both traits many male law professional posses. In both of these cases it seems to be that either the male partners have no regard or respect for a women who is at an equal level of competence as them or that they honestly believe it is acceptable to stereotype people this way. Either way there must be reform in the workplace. I would suggest company wide training focusing on gender discrimination, gender stereotyping and the legality of both in regards to Title VII. After the training there will be no excuse for not knowing that you must treat every member of the firm the same in regard to gender for hiring, firing, training and promoting.