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Educator sues school board over pay disparity

ROANOKE (AP) An educator in Roanoke County has filed a federal lawsuit against the county school board alleging sex-based wage discrimination, saying she is paid less than male employees in the same position.

Roanoke County Public Schools Supervisor of Science Erin Barnett in her lawsuit contends there is “no legitimate reason” for the pay disparity, the Roanoke Times reported. Barnett earns $258.45 a day, but a male supervisor of physical education makes $284.55.

The lawsuit filed Nov. 11 in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Virginia includes a list of dozens of identical job-related responsibilities meant to show that while the male supervisor and Barnett focus on different subjects, they are “similarly situated” colleagues.

Roanoke County School Board Chair Mike Wray told the newspaper the board had not received Barnett’s lawsuit as of Nov. 12 and declined a request for comment.

In January, Barnett filed a complaint with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, but it was dismissed. In her lawsuit she seeks equitable pay, compensatory damages, back pay, front pay, prejudgment interest and attorney fees.

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