Atkinson et al. v. Mount Sinai – Equity in healthcare
We represent eight current and former employees of the Mount Sinai Health System in New York City in a federal lawsuit, alleging sex, age and race discrimination by Mount Sinai and several of its employees arising out of misconduct at the Arnhold Institute for Global Health (“AIGH”). The lawsuit relies on federal (Title VII), state (New York State Human Rights Law) and New York City (NYC Human Rights Law) law.
The complaint describes the rise and fall of Dr. Prabhjot Singh, the former director of the Institute. He was appointed to this position at age 32, before he had finished his medical residency, by Dennis Charney, Dean of the Icahn School of Medicine. Singh immediately set about marginalizing and undermining female employees, especially women in senior leadership roles. He demoted them, defunded their established and effective programs and made their working lives miserable until they were finally forced out. In return, Dr. Singh hired younger, male friends and contacts from his network despite their lack of experience in global health. Other female plaintiffs were regularly skipped over in meetings where all the men got to speak, and paid less than their male colleagues despite excellent qualifications and equal or greater job responsibilities. One of Dr. Singh’s hires, also named as a defendant, was known for violent screaming at female subordinates, audible to everyone in the office including Singh, but was never reprimanded. Singh also did nothing to curb a male employee who repeatedly denigrated a colleague of Pakistani origin by saying in the man’s office “smells like curry,” and who also regularly called female colleagues “bitches” and “cunts.”
Singh was removed from his position, but remains employed by Mount Sinai. The litigation is ongoing.
Our clients have sought to work with other women thwarted by the macho culture prevalent in academic medicine. They have used a website and Twitter account, Equity Now at Mount Sinai, and have lobbied for new legislation to protect women in healthcare. Their suit prompted some modest internal reforms at Mount Sinai, but also caused hundreds of Mount Sinai staff, faculty and students to write to the Board of Trustees demanding change.
To find out how our plaintiffs are breaking the silence on gender discrimination in healthcare.
The gender harassment we experienced sank our medical careers (STAT)
Our Mount Sinai plaintiffs’ op-ed in STAT urging for gender harassment in medical institutions to be taken seriously.In the Press
Mount Sinai institute director facing discrimination allegations leaves post (Science)
Prabhjot Singh, who is facing allegations of age and gender discrimination, “has chosen to step down” as director of Mount Sinai’s Arnhold Institute for Global Health, but will remain on the medical school’s faculty.In the Press
Head of Mount Sinai research accused of ‘gaslighting’ female employees (New York Post)
Prabhjot Singh, director of the Arnhold Institute for Global Health, which is part of Mount Sinai Health System, is accused of being “abusive, dismissive and hostile” toward the staff of mostly older women after he was appointed to the top post in 2015.In the Press