Some might call it a trend, but another lawsuit has emerged alleging that women were paid less than their male counterparts in comparable positions. This time the lawsuit, filed by three female ex-employes, accuses Virginia Tech of gender discrimination, showing that pay disparity is as pernicious in the public sector as the private.
According to the complaint one woman was explicitly told she was worth less because she was a woman.
The suit alleges that Virginia Tech violated Title VII of the Civil Rights Act and the Equal Pay Act by paying the women less than men who were doing similar jobs. One plaintiff described a situation where she applied for a new position within the university after working in its development office. During a meeting with the man who would become her boss if hired she requested the same starting salary for the position as the man who had last held the job received.
Instead she was offered $20,000 less and said that “as a woman and not the head of her household she was not worth the same as the man who held the position at the time.” That same supervisor also allegedly said that “hiring a woman can be a liability because women could become pregnant and miss work.”
The supervisor also admits that he “might” have threatened to “slap her with a ‘wet noodle’” if the employee told anyone about his sexist statements.
This latest lawsuit simply illustrates what has become common knowledge for years now–women face the hurdles of gender stereotypes and unfair and unlawful employment actions in every workplace setting. The only things preventing these actions from remaining commonplace are women willing to fight for their worth and large enough jury verdicts to make workplace discrimination economically untenable for employers.
photo courtesy of yomanimus via Flickr