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Pittsburgh teacher sues district for sex discrimination

Although most people associate sex or gender discrimination with discrimination against women, men also experience sex discrimination in the workplace. Men may not consider that sex discrimination is a factor when they are denied promotional opportunities or department resources, but it can happen and is not allowed in Pennsylvania. 

A shop teacher in a Pittsburg public school recently came forward with allegations of sex discrimination, saying that during his 12 years at the school, he was consistently passed over for promotions and other advancement opportunities. He alleges that an executive director position was awarded to an under-qualified female coworker. According to the lawsuit, the more senior, supervisory positions were given exclusively to female employees and applicants over the course of the decade that the shop teacher worked for the district.

The teacher filed a discrimination complaint in 2010. He was furloughed the following year and his program was ultimately eliminated. The district has asserted that they cut the welding program due to funding shortages and that it was a part of a series of cuts in a variety of departments. If the man was indeed furloughed as a result of his discrimination complaint, that would be considered illegal retaliation.

The man is requesting monetary damages, which are generally for lost wages in these types of cases. Other employees may ask for their old jobs back, and some make requests for changes to department policies that they believe led to the discrimination. Sex discrimination is illegal under state and federal equal protection laws.

 Source: Pittsburg Post-Gazette, "Former Pittsburg Public Schools welding teacher sues claiming sex discrimination," Rich Lord, May 14, 2012. 

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