This is a class action by female physicians on the faculty of a medical school for sex discrimination in violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42 USC 200e et seq. Plaintiffs claim that practices of the medical school in setting salaries have had a disparate impact on female faculty, resulting in a pattern and practice of discrimination. Plaintiff's theory is that women's starting salaries were unjustifiably lower than men's, and that the discrimination was perpetuated by a system of "Guideline" percentage raises which, although facially neutral, had the effect of perpetuating the discrimination against them. Continuing discriminatory selective awarding of increases out of guideline, plaintiffs allege, has added to the discriminatory effect. Plaintiffs also claim that women are discriminated against with regard to promotion. The lead plaintiff, Edna Nussbaum (# 122 in the data set), is a pediatrician and an assistant professor. She claims discrimination against her by reason of sex, both with regard to pay and lack of promotion.

The medical school denies discrimination and replies that any differences in salary are due to differences in qualifications, placement in the medical school, and experience. It is not disputed that the salary received by any one faculty member is the result of numerous factors, some readily quantifiable and some inherently amorphous. The parties are agreed on the importance of such factors as experience, number and quality of publications in scholarly journals, the department in which the doctor works, board certification, clinical or research emphasis, rank, and quality of teaching.

The question for the jury is whether, after accounting for legitimate factors, the data show a significant negative impact on female faculty.

Last modified: Tue Nov 23 08:23:09 EST 2004