Safeguarding Your Rights In The Workplace

Female law professor contesting wage inequality

An Equal Pay Act lawsuit filed by a female law professor highlights the pay inequity and workplace discrimination women have to contend with in academic settings and how ingrained it is.

Wage inequality

According to the accomplished law professor, she has 39 years of experience under her belt, as well as at least 80 law review articles and authored or co-authored 22 books but still earns at least $31,000 less than three male professors at the University of Texas Law School. Some of them teach the same course as she does, but have fewer publications or lesser experience than she has.

This is not the first time she has complained about unequal wages. In 2011, she filed a complaint when she learned that a male professor with a shorter career earned about $50,000 more than she did. Years later, the wage gap has decreased to $17,000 but has not ended. Currently, her Equal Pay Act and Sex Discrimination claims are ongoing.

Reactions to lawsuits

Other female professors have also filed lawsuits against their colleges for unequal pays, but have seen their careers impacted by speaking out. Some have complained about being removed from important faculty committees and placed on other committees that do not determine pay, and have also been labeled ‘poison’ by administration. This fear of retaliation is why female professors have stayed quiet for a long time, but the tide is turning as the inequality becomes evident.

Female workers, regardless of the field they are in, are generally paid lesser than their male counterparts. Wage inequality and sex discrimination is prohibited under federal and state law, and those who are experiencing it should know they have legal options they can avail. An experienced attorney can also discuss responses to retaliation with claimants.