Brown Sees Red!

   The Rhode Island Commission of Human Rights has found Brown University guilty of sex discrimination and ordered that Jane K. Thompson receive a salary adjustment and back pay.

   Ms. Thompson, the Commission ruled, "should be paid for what she does. Giving a different title when she does the same work does not warrant disparate pay." She was the only woman on Brown's mental health team, but her salary was half that of the male clinical psychologist in the same job. She received only 1.5% raise when he received 5%.

   The University fought the claim, saying that she lacked the "expertise" and "the Ph.D. or M.D. degree of the men justifies the skill difference." The Commission found that salary must fit "the job not the credentials."

   Despite the Commission's recommendations, the legal resolution is unclear (State Human Rights Commissions traditionally lack enforcement power). Ms. Thompson is therefore taking her case to federal court and suing for salary adjustment, back pay and legal fees.


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