Equal pay case accusing TSU of gender discrimination headed to trial

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[...] in a federal lawsuit that goes to trial on Monday - an employment discrimination case that will make the rare journey to a presentation before a jury - the 64-year-old alleges that she has been paid less than other male assistant deans for at least a decade. The courtroom drama could create a buzz on campus and among alumni unmatched since the criminal scandal involving former TSU President Priscilla Slade, whose prosecution ended in a 2007 mistrial followed by a 2008 plea agreement that required restitution and 10 years of probation, but no prison time. According to court records, Taylor's pay was raised to $68,000 in 2007 following a job analysis. Taylor is an assistant dean for graduate student services in the Graduate School, which is distinct from other departments because it doesn't have a dedicated faculty, but coordinates more than 30 master's and doctoral degrees bestowed by other schools and colleges. Kevin Adams, an assistant dean in the School of Communications, which has about 650 students, and LaRence Snowden, the assistant dean for student programs and external affairs in the Barbara Jordan-Mickey Leland School of Public Affairs, both have responsibilities that were "broader, more varied and demanding" than the duties assigned to Taylor, the judge determined. Longtime professor Diljit K. Chatha's civil rights lawsuit based on race and national origin will test the strength of the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, which was signed in 2009 by President Barack Obama and makes pay discrimination lawsuits easier to file.

view Houston Chronicle (Chron.com)