Paul L. Caron

Tuesday, May 21, 2024

Straight, White Female Alleges King & Spalding's Summer Associate Diversity Fellowship Violated Title VII

ABA Journal, Straight, White Female Alleges BigLaw Firm’s Job Ad For Diversity Program Violated Title VII:

Sarah SpitalnickKing & Spalding is the latest law firm targeted for a diversity fellowship alleged to discriminate against white heterosexual candidates.

In a May 9 lawsuit, plaintiff Sarah Spitalnick alleges she was deterred from applying for a summer-associate diversity fellowship at King & Spalding in February 2021 because of a job ad that restricted applicants.

The ad said candidates “must have an ethnically or culturally diverse background or be a member of the LGBT community,” according to the lawsuit, filed in federal court in Maryland.

At the time, Spitalnick was a first-year law student at the University of Baltimore School of Law. She is white and heterosexual. The summer internship paid $4,135 a week.

Law360, King & Spalding Accused Of Anti-White, Pro-LGBTQ Bias:

Spitalnick's attorney, solo practitioner Jonathan S. Gross, said the case is notable because the EEOC found reasonable cause that the firm broke the law.

"This case is significant because the [EEOC] found reasonable cause to believe that King & Spalding violated the law, which only occurs in about [2%] of complaints," Gross said. "King & Spalding's discriminatory practices send a signal to others that these practices are acceptable. Ms. Spitalnick hopes that her lawsuit will send a message that discrimination of any kind is unacceptable."

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