Eighteen current and former female teachers have sued a western Pennsylvania school district in federal court, claiming they were hired at lower salaries than males with similar experience.
The (Johnstown) Tribune-Democrat reports officials with the Windber Area School District say they're "thoroughly exploring" the allegations contained in the lawsuit filed Thursday in U.S. District Court in Johnstown.
"We’re taking this very seriously...and I can say the district will fully explore these allegations to ensure we will continue to meet our obligations," Superintendent Rick Huffman told the Tribune-Democrat.
The 22-page lawsuit claims the typical female teacher makes 10 percent less than a male counterpart and claims the district owes the teachers an unspecified amount of back wages, in the six figures.
Three of the teachers have since retired, and most were hired more than a decade ago. One teacher hired in 1999 claims her starting salary was $18,500 but should have been more than $40,000 had she been properly credited with six years' experience.
Huffman says that his office is giving the matter "full due diligence."
The Windber Area School District isn't the first in the region to be sued for pay discrimination, according to the Tribune-Democrat.