Snoopy Program Wasn’t Right, Fired Exec Says

     PHILADELPHIA (CN) – A pharmaceutical research company fired an executive for objecting to a computer program that kept information on the sexual orientation and religious and political views of job applicants, the former exec claims in court.
     Joseph Brennan sued Research Pharmaceutical Services in Federal Court.
     Brennan says he was the company’s chief information officer from June 2010 to January 2012.
     He claims that “In or about November of 2010, defendant assigned plaintiff Brennan the task of leading the defendant’s ‘Safe Harbor certification’ efforts. In connection thereto, plaintiff Brennan retained PricewaterhouseCoopers LLC (‘PwC’) to provide an assessment of the defendant’s privacy practices.
     “By way of background, a component of defendant’s business involves the hiring and placement of employees in clinical trials for pharmaceutical companies.
     “During the course of said assessment, in or about December of 2010, PwC discovered that defendant’s applicant tracking system, WebPas, housed information regarding potential employees’ sexual orientation, religion, and political views.”
     Brennan claims he objected to the policy to the company’s vice president of recruiting and its chief operations officer, who “attempted to justify the defendant’s use of candidates’ personal information in WebPas by claiming that it allowed defendant to place employees in positions in which they would be most compatible.”
     He claims the two execs told him “that he must not divulge information relating to the said unlawful employment practice” and that just a month after the audit, “defendant removed plaintiff Brennan from his role in the ‘due diligence’ being conducted by a potential purchaser of defendant’s business.”
     “On or about January 31, 2011, in retaliation for opposing the said unlawful employment practice relating to hiring and placement of employees, defendant terminated plaintiff Brennan’s position of employment,” the complaint states.
     Brennan seeks lost wages and benefits and compensatory and punitive damages for retaliation.
     He is represented by Sidney Gold of Philadelphia.

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