TUCSON (3TV/CBS 5) -- A chemistry professor at the University of Arizona has just filed a class-action lawsuit against the Arizona Board of Regents, claiming that female educators are significantly underpaid and are more often passed over for promotions compared to their male counterparts.
The lawsuit states that Dr. Katrina Miranda was paid $100,000 for the 2017-'18 academic year, while a male chemistry professor hired and tenured and at the same time was paid $130,500.
"There seems to be a pattern of discrimination, not just limited to our client, but that affects female professors in the College of Science," said Miranda's attorney Andrew Melzer. "Our goal of the lawsuit is to achieve fairness and a level playing field."
Elizabeth Tate, a Valley employment attorney, says this kind of discrimination against women happens all the time.
"You'd think when you go to a company, they'd be like, 'Thank you very much for bringing this to our attention; we'll rectify it,'" said Tate. "But that's not what happens."
The chemistry professor claimed that when she complained about the pay disparity the school "retaliated against her" by "reducing lab space" and "removing her from a course she created."
The lawsuit is seeking $20 million in damages, including back pay, future pay and attorney fees on behalf of as many as 80 current and former female professors.
"That lawsuit makes a mark," said Tate. "You never know who (sic) it's going to help that (sic) comes after you."