Medical Group Sues Pfizer For Discrimination Against Whites And Asian-Americans

An advocacy group composed of medical professionals filed a lawsuit against Pfizer on Thursday for discriminating against whites and Asian-Americans in their fellowship program.

The advocacy group, Do Not Harm, filed the complaint in a Manhattan federal court, outlining what they allege is Pfizer’s “radical, divisive, and discriminatory ideology.” The complaint alleges that Pfizer violated state and federal civil rights laws, in addition to federal healthcare regulations barring racial discrimination.

“Racial discrimination demeans us,” wrote the group in the complaint, adding that “open exclusion of white and Asian-American applicants is illegal.”

In response to the complaint, Pfizer issued a statement announcing that they had “every confidence” that the company ran its fellowship program in accordance with all employment laws.

“We will continue to strive to create more opportunity, including through specific programs designed to cast a wide net for talent,” wrote Pfizer in the statement.

In their complaint, the advocacy group asks for an injunction to prevent Pfizer from using race as a criteria in their fellowship selection process in the future. The complaint also seeks an injunction to stop Pfizer from continuing with their 2023 fellowship selections under the current rules.

Lastly, the complaint requests $1 in nominal damages.

Do Not Harm is based in Glen Allen, Virginia, with members ranging from doctors and other healthcare professionals, to policymakers and medical students.

The fellowship program operated by Pfizer grants fellows with a two-year contract to work in full-time positions after finishing school, along with funding their master’s degrees. Pfizer announced goals to enroll 100 fellows by 2025 as part of a 9-year campaign to increase minority representation in the company.

Pfizer Chief Executive Albert Bourla has high aspirations for the fellowship, saying on the website that it can “lead to parity at all levels to create a vibrant culture where every colleague has the opportunity to succeed.”