Professor files wage discrimination suit

Local News
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UNIVERSITY OF ILLINOIS (WCIA) — A UI professor is suing the university for gender-based wage discrimination. She says she makes tens of thousands of dollars less than the men in her program.

Deana McDonagh is an industrial design professor. This week, she filed a federal lawsuit alleging she’s paid less because she’s a woman. She says this kind of discrimination has been happening to her for years.

The lawsuit claims the gender-based pay-gap has been ongoing since 2014. It asserts each professor in her program is required to perform the same responsibilities, so there’s no reason there should be a pay gap.

McDonagh is the only female tenured faculty member in the industrial design program’s history. The lawsuit claims she makes $12,000 – $56,000 less than male professors in the program.

She says she was awarded a few small pay increases during the last five years, but there’s still a huge gap.

For the past three years, she’s spoken with many members of the university’s administration about her concerns.

The suit claims, in 2014, the director of the School of Art and Design at the time, responded by asking  why she needed a pay increase if she didn’t have a family.

In 2016, UI’s Office of Diversity and Accessibility stated it would investigate McDonagh’s complaint of discrimination, but she still hasn’t heard back with any updates.

McDonagh says she’s unable to comment on her case; The university won’t speak about it at all since it’s pending litigation and they don’t address personnel matters.

Last year, McDonagh filed a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. Three weeks later, the university gave McDonagh her first ever mediocre faculty evaluation.

The lawsuit claims it included false and unjustified performance criticisms.

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