Ethical and legal analysis of the Ann Hopkins v. Price Waterhouse discrimination law suit. Focuses on case law and ethics.

Essay by coreymorgan77University, Master'sA+, May 2006

download word file, 12 pages 4.0



Ann Hopkins came to Price Waterhouse in August of 1978 following a short stint at American Management Systems after the realization that she preferred a multi-project environment that Price Waterhouse offered. Prior to American Management Systems she worked at Touche Ross for close to 2 years. She left Touche Ross because her husband made partner at the firm because Touche Ross would not consider anyone for partnership whose spouse worked there.

Hopkins came to Price Waterhouse on a strong recommendation from Touch Ross. Price Waterhouse consisted of three departments. Accounting and auditing, tax services and management advisory services. Hopkins came on as a manager in the Management Advisory Services (MAS) department. The firm was a professional partnership whose clients included many Fortune 500 companies. During the timeframe of this case Price Waterhouse had 662 partners across 90 U.S.

offices and approximately 2,600 partners worldwide.

To make partner was in essence to obtain a lifetime membership. The position held great value within the firm. Partners within the firm placed great importance on the interpersonal skills of any partner candidate. So much so that any negative comments made in the review process more than outweighed positive ones, even if the negative review was from a casual observer and not from someone who worked closely with the candidate. It should be noted that the policy board did recommend and elect two male candidates who were criticized for their interpersonal skills because they were perceived as being aggressive, overbearing, abrasive or crude. The firm stated that they had a strong need for the specific needs the candidates possessed. The process for becoming partner was formal and rigid. Once someone became partner, it took a 75% vote to force that person...