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Pfizer accused of offering ‘flagrantly illegal’ fellowship program — Analysis

This fellowship is only available to Native American, Latino and black students at the pharma company. The offer has been criticized by some.

Pharmaceutical giant Pfizer has drawn backlash over its ‘Breakthrough Fellowship’ program, which only accepts students of black/African, Latino/Hispanic, and Native American descent, barring white and Asian students from even applying. 

In a Tuesday article published by the Washington Free Beacon, a number of civil rights lawyers stated that Pfizer’s fellowship program was “flagrantly illegal”This is a violation of both the Civil Rights Acts of 1866, 1964 and 1964 that prohibit racial discrimination when it comes to employment or contracting.

Announced on the company’s website, the nine-year program says it offers college students multiple internships and a fully-funded master’s degree, as well as several years of employment at the pharmaceutical giant. Pfizer claims it will continue to “develop”Through the program, 100 fellows will be available by 2025 according to its claims. “increase diversity by fostering a more inclusive workplace”Growing and cultivating an herb garden “pipeline of diverse talent.”

According to lawyers quoted in the Washington Free Beacon, the prohibition of Asian students applying for the fellowship is clearly discriminatory and constitutes a violation of the First Amendment. “clear case of liability” under federal law.

“This Pfizer program is so flagrantly illegal I seriously wonder how it passed internal review by its general counsel,” Adam Mortara, one of the country’s top civil rights attorneys, told the outlet.




Gail Heriot, an American Commission on Civil Rights member, agreed to his opinion. “major corporations seem to have forgotten that there’s such a thing as law.”

“They seem to think that as long as they’re woke, they’re bulletproof,”Heriot observed.

Another lawyer contacted by Free Beacon stated that Pfizer’s case was not being pursued. “open-and-shut”And that Breakthrough Fellowship was. “obviously illegal”You can also find out more about. “very facial violation”These statutes are related to Civil Rights. 

While Pfizer has yet to officially respond to the accusations, it’s noted that some major US companies have previously scrapped race-conscious programs after being faced with discrimination lawsuits. Coca-Cola is an example of such a company. The American Civil Rights Project pressured it to remove a requirement for partner law firms that at least 30 per cent staff their teams. “diverse lawyers.”

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