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Sex discrimination case against Salk Institute heading for trial

Most employers facing claims of sex discrimination will try to seek "summary judgment," determining that they are entitled to judgment as a matter of law. Summary judgment is a judicial proceeding in which the moving party must demonstrate that no material facts are disputed, and it is entitled to judgment in its favor as a matter of law. The Salk Institute in La Jolla made such a motion in a case originally begun by three female faculty members alleging workplace discrimination. Two of the three settled their claims, and the Salk used a motion for summary judgment to dispense with the third woman's claims.

The remaining plaintiff has alleged that she was subject to gender discrimination because she was treated differently than male faculty members. She has alleged that she was routinely excluded from meeting with private donors and representatives of foundations. She also alleged that the Salk routinely denied her professional advancement opportunities. The plaintiff is also contending that the Salk retaliated against her for suing the institute when it failed to renew her contract.

The judge overseeing the case granted three of the four motions made by the Salk. However, he ruled that the Salk was not entitled to summary judgment. The judge decided that the plaintiff presented evidence at the motion hearing to establish issues that could only be resolved in a trial. The gender discrimination claim is scheduled to go to trial on December 7, 2018.

Anyone who has experienced gender discrimination may wish to consult an experienced employment attorney for an evaluation of the law and facts that will apply to the case.