As the drugmaker fights a lawsuit from a group of doctors who allege the program unjustly excludes whites and Asian-Americans, Pfizer Inc (Pfizer stock) claimed its fellowship program for minorities satisfies the public interest.
Pfizer (NYSE:PFE) urged a Manhattan federal judge to deny Do No Harm’s request for an injunction barring enrolling Blacks, Latinos, and Native Americans in the 2023 class of its Breakthrough Fellowship Program in a petition late on Tuesday night.
According to Pfizer, the two-year-old initiative helps address historical workplace prejudice as well as challenges in hiring, keeping, and promoting minorities.
It plans to increase minority representation over a nine-year period by enrolling 100 fellows by 2025.
According to Pfizer (NYSE:PFE), there is a solid public policy in favor of voluntary affirmative action programs. “At a minimum, maintaining the status quo is in the public interest.”
Requests for comment from Do No Harm’s attorneys were not immediately fulfilled.
Do No Harm asserted in its complaint filed on September 15 that Pfizer’s program was “discriminatory on its face,” in violation of numerous civil rights laws, and in violation of a federal law that prohibits businesses that accept government healthcare reimbursements from engaging in racial discrimination.
After finishing the program, fellows are given two years of full-time employment, completely paid master’s degrees, and employment with Pfizer in New York.
Is Pfizer Stock Affected by the Lawsuit
The short answer is no. The lawsuit is about the racial discrimination lawsuit over a minority fellowship program.
Pfizer’s adjusted earnings for the second quarter rose by 92% to $2.04 per share, well-exceeding expectations. Sales increased by 47% to $27.74 billion, above forecasts. However, the Covid shot, Comirnaty, and Covid antiviral tablet Paxlovid were quite important. The latter produced second-quarter sales of $8.12 billion. Operationally, Pfizer’s overall revenue increased by just 1% when such products were excluded.
Pfizer (NYSE:PFE) claimed that Do No Harm lacked legal standing to file a lawsuit, was unable to establish irreparable harm, and that its claims would be unsuccessful.
In addition to a temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction prohibiting the organization from selecting its 2023 fellowship class and posting “racially biased” marketing for the program, Do No Harm is asking for $1 in nominal damages. Additionally, it demands that the business “formulate new eligibility” standards that are inclusive of all races.
According to Pfizer (NYSE:PFE), the fellowship program “does what Congress has encouraged and controlling law permits.”
The Supreme Court will take affirmative action in higher education into account on October 31 as it hears arguments about Harvard University’s and the University of North Carolina’s racial admissions policies.
A 2003 Supreme Court ruling in which Justice Sandra Day O’Connor stated that race might be utilized as one element among many to create diversity is one of the precedents that are in danger.
Major American corporations have made it plain that the abilities required in today’s more and more global economy can only be developed via exposure to vastly diversified people, cultures, ideas, and opinions, according to O’Connor, who was mentioned favorably by Pfizer.
Do No Harm v. Pfizer Inc., Southern District of New York U.S. District Court, Case No. 22-07908.
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