Author: FRANKLIN HOKE, pp.3
Date: May 16,1994
Denial of mentoring in a research setting can constitute a form of sex discrimination, according to a recent jury verdict in federal court. But as a result of a subsequent Supreme Court ruling, the case will go back to the presiding judge for determination. If the judge agrees with the jury, the case could set an important legal precedent, according to the female researcher who brought charges, her lawyers, and others.
For now, however, the significance of the jury's April 1 decision for junior women scientists and other professional women remains unclear. One reason, cited by opposition lawyers, is that the jury awarded only $1 in compensatory damages to the plaintiff, the minimum possible in the case.
Also important, however, is that, based on an April 26 Supreme Court ruling concerning the relevant law, the case should not have been decided by a...