U of H teacher claims lower pay due to racial, gender discrimination

By John Suayan, Galveston Bureau | Feb 6, 2013

HOUSTON - An educator at the University of Houston seeks damages in response to what she claims is disparate pay rooted in race and gender discrimination.

A lawsuit filed Feb. 5 in Houston federal court says Delilah Montoya, an associate professor in U of H's photography digital media program, is paid less than a white male colleague.

Montoya, who is Hispanic, states said colleague's salary is higher than hers though she holds a higher position and has more responsibilities.

U of H hired the plaintiff about 10 years ago.

The suit shows the respondent assigned coordinator duties to Montoya after the assistant professor who held the post was relieved for failing to perform.

It further asserts the school continued to pay the professor a larger figure while refusing Montoya's requests for an increase.

Montoya then filed a discrimination complaint on Aug. 16, 2012, and, according to the original petition, was put on the receiving end of "hostile and retaliatory actions."

The suit argues Montoya's predecessor at the coordinator's position made false statements about her, adding U of H even increased his pay to keep him from going to another institution.

"Each and every time the defendant pays the plaintiff, the defendant discriminates against the plaintiff," it says.

A jury trial is requested.

Attorney Ellen Sprovach with Rosenberg & Sprovach in Houston is representing Montoya.

Case No. 4:13-CV-295

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