On April 4, 2023, CIR and co-counsel Shawn Rodgers, of Goldstein Law Partners LLC, filed a new retaliation complaint on behalf of Dr. Norman Wang, alleging that the University of Pittsburgh (Pitt), the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC), and University of Pittsburgh Physicians punished Wang for objecting to race-based admissions practices, including those used at Pitt and UPMC.
The complaint alleges that the organizations violated Title VII of the Civil Rights Acts, which prohibits retaliation against employees who report on racial discrimination. The additional complaint adds to claims already made alleging violations of other federal and state laws in the case filed in 2020 on behalf of Dr. Wang. That case is proceeding against several Pitt officials in their individual capacities. The new complaint identifies additional Pitt administrators who were directly involved in retaliating against Dr. Wang.
In March 2020, Wang published an academic article in the peer-reviewed Journal of the American Heart Association, which analyzed the history of the use of race in medical school admissions and opined that the way medical schools went about this practice involved unlawful racial discrimination. In later conversations with his superiors, Wang advised them that the selection processes for the medical education program at the Pitt School of Medicine violated federal law because of the racial and ethnic preferences they employed.
In response, officials at Pitt and UPMC retaliated against Wang professionally and personally. Officials removed Wang from his role as the director of the clinical cardiac electrophysiology fellowship. They also also prohibited him from contacting students, residents, and fellows, which impacted his ability to perform clinical consultations. (The prohibition continues in force with respect to residents and fellows.) Officials publicly falsely asserted that Wang’s peer-reviewed article misquoted sources and contained “blatant scientific errors.” Several officials accused him of racism on social media and in campus-wide emails.
The complaint filed today follows a 2021 administrative complaint made to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. On March 17, 2023, Wang received a right to sue letter from the EEOC. CIR expects the new complaint will be consolidated with Wang’s existing case.
Read the new complaint