Precedent Setting Discrimination Lawsuit Seeks to Protect Gay Student Victim Against Civil Rights Violations

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A $100,000,000 lawsuit recently filed against Yeshiva University, alleges anti-gay discrimination at the highest echelons of America's educational system. The case Padiyar v. Yeshiva, was filed in the Supreme Court of the State of New York.

Sex Discrimination and Sexual Harassment in the Work Place

A $100,000,000 lawsuit recently filed against Yeshiva University and its internationally-noted medical school, the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, alleges anti-gay discrimination at the highest echelons of America's educational system. The case Padiyar v. Yeshiva, was filed in the Supreme Court of the State of New York.

Jeevan Padiyar, a published scholar with several academic honors, filed the suit against Yeshiva University for allegedly discriminating against him solely on the basis of his sexual orientation.

A graduate of Kansas State University with dual Bachelor of Science Degrees in Chemistry and Biochemistry, Padiyar took the USMLE and scored in the top 1% nationally. He was one of only 60 students nationally to be funded through the prestigious Howard Hughes Fellowship in 2003.

Padiyar was flourishing at Yeshiva and by all accounts was on his way to a successful career as a medical researcher. But the lawsuit alleges that once administrators at Yeshiva learned of his sexual orientation, Padiyar's experience there took an immediate and sustained turn for the worse. A series of false allegations led to an unexplained suspension from his studies, according to the lawsuit. Yeshiva formally dismissed him in January of 2006, eighteen months later.

The Preliminary Statement from the lawsuit forms the basis of the complaint: "Plaintiff complains that he suffered sexual orientation and sexual preference discrimination, sexual preference harassment, a sexually hostile educational environment, retaliation, and retaliation harassment, ... because of his sexual orientation and preference (gay or homosexual), and by means of discriminatory perceptions, stereotyping, and gender discrimination, in violation of the New York Human Rights Law…"

Larry Solotoff, Padiyar's attorney, said, "Despite Mr. Padiyar's glowing academic performance reviews and faculty evaluations, Yeshiva University - once they learned Jeevan was gay - has maintained a campaign of harassment and misinformation in the hope that Jeevan will simply give up. After all, he is a graduate student and does not have access to the resources that an institution like Yeshiva - with its many wealthy, politically-connected contributors - has."

"One wonders how Yeshiva's alumni will view their alma mater's discriminatory actions," said Solotoff. "If anything, an institution with Yeshiva's history should be more sensitive to the issue of discrimination and they should do everything in their power to combat it, rather than condone it."

Mr. Solotoff is a Fellow in the College of Labor and Employment attorneys, and co-author on the treatise Solotoff/Kramer, "Sex Discrimination and Sexual Harassment in the Work Place," (Treatise) Law Journal Seminars Press. He is a practicing civil rights trial attorney and has been lead trial counsel in a number of important civil rights cases.

Thomas D. Shanahan, former counsel for Padiyar, and a noted New York Civil Rights attorney focusing on gay and transgender discrimination said, "Yeshiva has disregarded its own policies left and right in their effort to purge this student from their institution. Why? Because Jeevan Padiyar is gay."

The case is Padiyar v. Yeshiva, 116296/06. More information on this case and others against Yeshiva University can be found at http://www.yeshivavictims.org.

Contact Larry Solotoff, Esq (516) 466-5522 for more information.

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