Fighting For Important Causes In State And Federal Courts
From wrongful discharge to denial of equal befits or being passed over for a promotion, some universities break the law when they fail to treat all employees fairly and equally. Universities have the same duties as all employers to prevent discrimination in the workplace. Federal, state and local anti-discrimination laws protect employees against discrimination based on race, sex, pregnancy, religion, national origin, disability, or age. Workplace discrimination can do significant damage to a professor’s career. There is potentially ruinous reputational damage, loss of professional opportunities, as well as other quantifiable losses.
If you’re experiencing discrimination in the academia or you know a State College professor who was denied tenure for no apparent reason or is underpaid in relation to counterparts, illegal workplace activities may be ongoing. To obtain compensation, you need the very best behind you. The team of attorneys in the Law Office of Andrew Shubin are known for their experience in handling difficult cases of discrimination. Our unwavering commitment to fight relentlessly for our clients’ rights is the reason we have a reputation for a high-quality representation of professors facing discrimination. Call (814) 826-3586 to schedule a consultation.
Common Examples of Discrimination that Professors Can Face
While overt or open discrimination may not seem as prevalent these days in academic institutions, professors can still experience discrimination due to their race or skin color. Students, administrators, and colleagues target professors or a particular race or races. Some universities have inconsistent retention and recruitment policies created or modified with a discriminatory animus. These instances may be subtle discrimination, but they are illegal, nevertheless.
Some colleges and universities are notorious for biases and double standards regarding requirements for tenure decisions. Minority professors report noticeable differences in publication criteria as well as double standards in voting procedures for tenure decisions. If colleagues with fewer qualifications and less experience receive tenure, then it’s possible there is intentional discrimination at play that must be redressed.
Professors are not immune to this common problematic, especially in the loss of benefits and opportunities that may be unfairly lost due to pregnancy. Firings for “out-of-wedlock” pregnancies still occur. A recent case involves a professor working at a religious school who was fired for refusing to get married after becoming pregnant.
Discrimination for Exercising Freedom of Speech, Assembly, and Worship
Professors often choose their profession drawn by a vocation to exchange ideas and challenge norms. Professors can be discriminated for their religious beliefs or lack thereof. They can also be discriminated for being outspoken about unpopular or controversial views. Insidious intolerance may be at play when a professor loses teaching positions or is dismissed for exposing a point of view. Intolerance toward unpopular opinions is a form of discrimination that can be redressed.
Reductions of pay and other benefits are at times a practice carried by a discriminatory animus. Salary cuts are supposed to be equally applied as a necessary measure for economic reasons. However, when a sudden salary reduction is biased against his or her views, age, sex, race, origins or political opinions. This can be the case of discriminated tenured professors selected for illegal reasons to receive salary cuts or other impositions that can have a material impact in their income.
Legal Theories That Support Claims for Discrimination of Professors
Title VII and Title IX amendments to the US Constitution. Other legal theories supporting these cases can include civil rights and due process violations.
Filing a Discrimination Claim Under Title IX in Pennsylvania
Title IX generally requires a showing that the educational environment is permeated or influenced by discriminatory behavior that is sufficiently severe or pervasive to alter the conditions of the educational environment. School officials must be notified of the problems in order for the lawsuit to proceed. The official should be someone in a position of authority to implement corrective measures. If the school officials fail to respond that failure amounts to deliberate indifference to discrimination. A discrimination lawyer can help you navigate through this process and explain the intricacies of the notice requirements.
Filing A Discrimination Claim in Pennsylvania Under Title VII
A discrimination claim under Chapter VII has to be filed with either the state administrative agency known as the Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission or the federal agency known as the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. These agencies have what is known as a “work-sharing agreement” and cooperate with each other to process claims. An experienced constitutional law attorney can help you navigate through this process. The Title IX Claim can be filed directly into a court of law. Therefore, there are important decisions you should consider with a dedicated lawyer with the right experience needed to help you make informed decisions.
Statute of Limitations on Employment Discrimination Claims in PA
There are strict time limits for filing claims of employment discrimination in Pennsylvania. These time limits begin the date you believe you were discriminated against.
- File with the PHRC within 180 days (cross-file with the EEOC)
- File within the EEOC (or cross-filing with the state agency within 300 days
An experienced attorney in representing college professors facing discrimination can work with you in designing a plan and anticipating the different scenarios that can come up.
Call Our State College Workplace Discrimination Attorney for Professors and Teachers
If you or someone you know is a professor facing discrimination in State College PA or a surrounding neighborhood, the accomplished team of lawyers working at the Law Office of Andrew Shubin will guide you and determine what the best course of action is. Call us at (814) 826-3586 to schedule a consultation.