Bowers v. Ophthalmology Grp.

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Bowers joined Ophthalmology Group as an employee in 1999 and, in 2002, became one of six partners. In November 2009, Bowers tendered a resignation letter to her partners. Although she did not give a date of departure, the partnership agreement required a one-year notice. In March, 2010, the partners voted to expel Bowers from the partnership, stating that her Chapter 7 bankruptcy and creditors’ proceedings and other personal conduct were detrimental to the Partnership.” After exhausting administrative remedies, Bowers filed suit, alleging: gender discrimination under Title VII; wrongful termination in breach of contract or in violation of public policy under Kentucky common law; gender discrimination under Kentucky statutes; retaliation for complaining about gender discrimination under Title VII, 42 U.S.C. 2000e. and the state law; and misappropriation of name for commercial advantage. Bowers moved to disqualify defendant’s counsel because another attorney at the firm previously represented Bowers in a substantially related matter. The district court granted summary judgment in favor of defendant because Bowers, as a former partner, was not an “employee” under Title VII and denied the motion to disqualify “as moot.” The Sixth Circuit vacated summary judgment and granted the motion to disqualify. View "Bowers v. Ophthalmology Grp." on Justia Law