Ann Hopkins

Topics: Discrimination, Gender, Stereotype Pages: 5 (1727 words) Published: February 18, 2005
Legal Analysis Model

The relevant facts
According to the case, Ann Hopkins had worked successfully for Price Waterhouse since 1978 and was "nominated for partnership at Price Waterhouse in 1982." (p. 1) Out of 88 candidates she was the only woman. In the admissions process, forms were sent out to all Price Waterhouse partners of whom there were 662. These partners then submitted their comments about the candidates. . Only "thirty-two partners, all male, responded about Hopkins." (p. 5) The forms were then tabulated to achieve a statistical rating in order to determine if the candidate should be admitted to the partnership. Of the 88 candidates "Price Waterhouse offered partnerships to 47 of them, rejected 21, and placed 20, including Hopkins, on hold." (p. 1) "Some candidates had been held because of concerns about their interpersonal skills." "the Policy Board takes evaluations or a negative reaction on this basis very seriously," even if the negative comments on short form evaluations were based upon less contact with the candidate than glowing reports on long forms evaluations based on more extensive contact. The policy board had however, recommended and elected two candidates "criticized for their interpersonal skills". (p. 4) Approximately 1% of the 662 partners were women. Price Waterhouse "gave two explanations for this. One was the relatively recent entry of large numbers of women into accounting and related fields. The other was the success of clients and rival accounting firms in hiring away female potential partners." (p. 4). After hearing that it was unlikely that she would ever make partner, Ann Hopkins decided to "initiate a lawsuit charging Price Waterhouse with sex discrimination". She had been a valuable and productive member of the organization and it appears that she was denied admission as a partner since she did not fit the feminine stereotype. Critical issues – Legal

There is evidence of Intentional Discrimination by Price Waterhouse and its employees based on sexual stereotype. Appropriate legal rules
According to Corley, Reed, Shedd, and Morehead, (2001) "the most important statue eliminating discriminatory employment practices, however, is the federal Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended by the Equal Employment Opportunity Act o 1972 and the Civil Rights Act of 1991." The appropriation section of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Title VII is Sec. 703. (a), which states that "It shall be an unlawful employment practice for an employer— (1) to fail or refuse to hire or to discharge any individual, or otherwise to discriminate against any individual with respect to his compensation, terms, conditions, or privileges of employment, because of such individual's race, color, religion, sex or national origin". The following section of the Civil Rights Act of 1991 as seen on the website "" is relevant to this case: "SEC. 5. CLARIFYING PROHIBITION AGAINST IMPERMISSIBLE CONSIDERATION OF RECE, COLOR, RELIGION, SEX OR NATIONAL ORIGIN IN EMPLOYMNET PRACTICES. (a) IN GENERAL.—Section 703 of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (42 U>S>C> 2000e-2) (as amended by section 4) is further amended by adding at the end thereof the following new subsection: ""(1) DISCRIMINATORY PRACTICE NEED NOT BE SOLE CONTRIBUTING FACTOR.— Except as otherwise provided in this title, an unlawful employment practice is established when the complaining party demonstrates that race, color, religion, sex, or national origin was a contributing factor for any employment practice, even though other factors also contributed to such practice. ". (b) ENFORCEMENT PROVISIONS.--Section 706(g) of such Act (42 U.S.C. 2000e-5(g)) is amended by inserting before the period in the last sentence the following: "or, in a case where a violation is established under section 703(1), if the respondent establishes that it would have taken the same action in the absence of any discrimination. In any case in which a violation is...

Cited: Civil Rights Act of 1964. 2 July 1964. U.S. Department of State. 12 Sept. 2004.
Civil Rights Act of 1991. 8 March 1991. U.S. Department of State. 12 Sept. 2004.
Harvard Business School. Ann Hopkins (A). Boston: Harvard Business School Publishing,
Velasquez, Manuel G. (2002) Owen, C., (5th Ed.). Business Ethics Concepts and Cases. Upper
Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall
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