Mary has recently graduated from the University of Tennessee where she majored in Engineering. She liked the program so much that she stayed in the program, earned her Ph.D., then began to teach there as an assistant professor of engineering. After talking to a few of her fellow co-workers about salary, Mary suspects that she is being underpaid. She then looks up state employee salaries on the search website and has found that she is getting paid about 18,000 dollars less than her fellow new male employee counterparts who had also graduated from the UT department of engineering. When she confronted the department head and dean about this situation, they told Mary that since she was married to a successful husband, her salary was seen as more complimentary than primary so there was no need to pay her the full salary. The two also told her that they had to pay her less to make up for the money they would lose by hiring a temporary instructor once she gets pregnant. In addition, the administrators told her that once she starts to have a family that she might want to consider retiring, teaching online, or to become a permanent home maker in order not to neglect her female marital duties. “Someone needs to stay home and nurture these children, and if you work too, MTV will raise your children and they will develop into mindless pop-culture texter zombies”, said the dean. “Families get thrown out of balance when two parents work” said the department head. Mary thought that she alone had been treated unfairly, but after discussing this situation with other female employees, she discovered that this has been the institutional “unofficial” policy campus wide when it comes to female employment salary. One long time female professor told Mary that, “You just have to play ball according to their rules if you want to make here”. Mary however was having none of that and filed a Title IX lawsuit.
WHICH TYPE OF DISCRIMINATION IS BEING PRACTICED HERE?
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