Lawyer Fined for Menopause Joke

At a time when political correctness is the norm, one lawyer showed startlingly bad judgement when he queried whether his female colleague was experiencing menopause after she complained about the temperature in the room they were working in.  

Dora Monserrate-Peñagarícano, a female attorney working a deposition, complained that the room (which had at least 15 other attorneys in it) was hot. It was at that point that Camilo Salas, who was part of the opposing counsel to Ms. Monserrate-Peñagarícano, quipped, “You're still hot? You’re not getting menopause, I hope."  

When Ms. Monserrate-Peñagarícano took umbrage at the comment, Mr. Salas tried to backpedal, citing concern for his colleague’s health. Neither Ms. Monserrate-Peñagarícano nor the judge, Francisco Besosa, was swayed by this apparent concern for Monserrate-Peñagarícano’s health.  Judge Besosa pointed out that had Mr. Salas been truly concerned, he would have talked to her privately and not made the comment in a room full of people. “The comment was made to embarrass Ms. Monserrate,” concluded Besosa.

Judge Besosa stated that referring to menopause, “implicates issues relating to a woman’s age, fertility, psychological state, sexuality, and physical condition,” and noted, “Discriminatory comments like this undoubtedly occur on a daily basis in the legal profession and are routinely swept under the rug”.

Judge Besosa fined Mr. Salas $1000 and ordered him to take a course on professionalism, where he will hopefully learn to confine his concern about his colleagues’ health to private conversations.

 

Source:

Kitroeff, Natalie. "This Menopause Joke Explains Why Women May Be Staying Out of the Courtroom." Bloomberg.com. August 26, 2015. http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-08-26/this-menopause-joke-explains-why-women-may-be-staying-out-of-the-courtroom.  Accessed September 25, 2015. 

 

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