HB Springfield Attorneys Secure Decertification in Gender Discrimination Case
|Thomas Wilson||Michael Murphy||Chris Clasby
Recently, the United States District Court for the Central District of Illinois decertified a gender discrimination collective action against a medical school. Lead defense attorney in the case was HeplerBroom partner Thomas Wilson, who was assisted by partner Michael Murphy and associate attorney Christopher Clasby.
The case involved a suit by a physician who filed a class action and collective action complaint against her former medical school employers by alleging gender discrimination in pay. The Court had previously conditionally certified the collective action against the medical school based upon Plaintiff’s allegations and the minimal showing needed for granting conditional certification. The grant of conditional certification allowed the Plaintiff to send notice to other former and current female faculty physicians with invitations to opt in to the suit in order to “collectively” proceed against the university. Three additional physicians ultimately joined the suit against the medical school as opt-in Plaintiffs.
In light of the individual nature of each faculty physician’s allegations, Defendants moved to decertify the collective action. The District Court agreed with the Defendants’ analysis in the Motion to Decertify, granted that motion, and dismissed the opt-in Plaintiffs from the case. The ruling marked the second major defense victory in the case as the District Court had previously denied Plaintiff’s Motion to Certify a Class Action against the medical school for gender discrimination.