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  • Jefferson Adams
    Jefferson Adams

    Did Celiac Disease Help Get Hedge Fund Star Fired?

    Reviewed and edited by a celiac disease expert.

      Still in her 30s, Rohrbeck was one of only two women out of 50 investment professionals employed at Baupost Group


    Caption: Photo: CC--401(k)2012

    Celiac.com 12/27/2017 - Armed with a Harvard MBA, Christine Rohrbeck was one of the few women to reach the top of the secretive, richly paid world of hedge funds.

    Still in her 30s, Rohrbeck was one of only two women out of 50 investment professionals employed at Baupost Group, one of the largest and most successful hedge funds. A rising star at the company, Rohrbeck would earn a $3.75 million bonus for her performance in 2014.

    She was told the amount was the highest paid to anyone in a similar position at Baupost. Then she was diagnosed with celiac disease.

    She asked for, and received some accommodations as she adjusted to her new health condition. Just a year later, after almost a decade at the Boston fund, the Harvard MBA was pushed out of her job.

    Rohrbeck blamed gender discrimination and the company's reaction to her illness. She recounted off-color jokes and references to masturbation, along with what she took to be sarcastic paraphrases by a male co-worker regarding remarks made by Facebook's Sheryl Sandburg that women should "lean in."

    In her complaint, Rohrbeck questioned Baupost's record of retaining women, especially after childbirth. Rohrbeck settled her complaint with the firm this year on undisclosed terms. That means that the question of whether celiac disease and sexism played a role will likely remain unknown.

    However, Rohrbeck is by no means alone in facing possible health-related discrimination; including discrimination related to celiac disease.

    Got a story about discrimination over celiac disease? Share it below.

    Read more at Bloomberg.com


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    Read the Bloomberg article. Her claims had nothing to do with celiac disease and are of no interest to celiac sufferers. Her claim is that she was fired due to several things including leaving a meeting because she was SICK. SICK, period. Whether it was celiac or diabetes or just the flu, doesn't matter. Some companies don't cut workers any slack for missing meetings or taking sick days. That's a real problem, but it has nothing to do with CELIAC specifically. She had an unmanaged disease and the employer didn't accommodate that.

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    Read the Bloomberg article. Her claims had nothing to do with celiac disease and are of no interest to celiac sufferers. Her claim is that she was fired due to several things including leaving a meeting because she was SICK. SICK, period. Whether it was celiac or diabetes or just the flu, doesn't matter. Some companies don't cut workers any slack for missing meetings or taking sick days. That's a real problem, but it has nothing to do with CELIAC specifically. She had an unmanaged disease and the employer didn't accommodate that.

    Ms. Rohrbeck said she lost her job after asking for accommodations because she had been diagnosed with celiac disease. Her claim is that her unmanaged celiac disease required her employer to accommodate her. She will likely be claiming that the condition amounted to a disability. So, yes, it very much had to do with celiac disease. You must have missed that part; it's the end of paragraph 4 of the very Bloomberg article you are citing.

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    Here are the relevant portions: "In her complaint, which was settled this year on undisclosed terms, Rohrbeck questioned Baupost's record of retaining women, especially after childbirth...Her case, however, involved more than allegations of sexist behavior. She said she lost her job after asking for accommodations because she had been diagnosed with celiac disease." Is that the part I missed?

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  • About Me

    Jefferson Adams is Celiac.com's senior writer and Digital Content Director. He earned his B.A. and M.F.A. at Arizona State University, and has authored more than 2,000 articles on celiac disease. His coursework includes studies in science, scientific methodology, biology, anatomy, medicine, logic, and advanced research. He previously served as SF Health News Examiner for Examiner.com, and devised health and medical content for Sharecare.com. Jefferson has spoken about celiac disease to the media, including an appearance on the KQED radio show Forum, and is the editor of the book "Cereal Killers" by Scott Adams and Ron Hoggan, Ed.D.

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