Essay on Ann Hopkins/Price Waterhouse Sex Discrimation Case Analysis

Essay on Ann Hopkins/Price Waterhouse Sex Discrimation Case Analysis

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Facts:

In 1978, Ann Hopkins began working for Price Waterhouse. Price Waterhouse policy prohibited hiring anyone who was married to a partner or had a close relationship with a partner in a national accounting firm. Hopkins husband was a partner at Touche Ross. Nevertheless, Price Waterhouse honored their offer and hired Hopkins anyway.

Ann Hopkins was a senior manager at Price Waterhouse in the firm's Office of Government Services (OGS) in 1982 when she was nominated for partnership. OGS' nominating proposal praised Hopkins "outstanding performance" and said it was "virtually at partnership level." It underlined Hopkins "key role" in connection with a large State Department project. No other 1982 candidate's record for securing major contracts was comparable. Hopkins also billed more hours and generated more business than any other candidate, proving Hopkins to be a capable and dedicated employee.

Hopkins track record seemed to be excellent. Closer examination revealed that Hopkins projects were sometimes over budget and off schedule, however, they were reported otherwise. There were also indications that there were interpersonal problems within teams that Hopkins led. There were also reports of Hopkins criticizing other employees and partners from the firm in public. Overall, Hopkins reviews were mixed. Hopkins demonstrated excellent drive and task accomplishment, however, had the tendency to push her staff too hard and she did not show the tact expected of a partner.

Partners were elected by the senior partner of Price Waterhouse and a policy board through a formal, annual nomination and review process, which was concluded with a partnership-wide vote. There was no formal limit on how many partners could be...


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...and effect to partners' comments about Hopkins that resulted from sex stereotyping. Price Waterhouse had allowed discriminatory motives to play part in an employment decision and therefore the firm could not prove that it would have made the same decision in the absence of discrimination. Ann Hopkins should be made partner and be awarded back pay for such.

References

Harvard Business School. Ann Hopkins (A). Boston: Harvard Business School Publishing, 1991.

Velasquez, Manuel G. (2002) Owen, C., (6th Ed.). Business Ethics Concepts and Cases.

Situational Ethics. (2002). Situational Ethics. Retrieved November 21, 2002, from Website http://www.situational-ethics.com/

http://usinfo.state.gov/usa/infousa/laws/majorlaw/civil91.htm

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