Wednesday, June 9, 2021
Following up on my previous posts:
Texas Lawyer, UT Law Professor Can Continue Sex-Discrimination Suit, But Loses on Retaliation Claims:
A female law professor can keep suing The University of Texas at Austin for sex discrimination and allegedly paying her less than male colleagues, but Linda Mullenix has for the second time lost her arguments that she faced unlawful retaliation.
U.S. District Judge Lee Yeakel dismissed Mullenix’s claim that the university retaliated after the professor said it violated the Equal Pay Act. In an order on Monday, the judge ruled Mullenix did not show enough facts for the court to infer plausibly that the university retaliated against her under the EPA.
Mullenix v. University of Texas, No. 1:19-CV-1203 (W.D. TX June 7, 2021):
The University asserts that Mullenix has failed to plead sufficient facts to create a plausible inference of retaliation under the Equal Pay Act. The court agrees. In its previous orders dismissing Mullenix's Title VII retaliation claim, the court ruled that Plaintifrs amended complaint does not support the plausible inference of a causal connection between Mullenix' s participation in the protected activity and the alleged adverse employment actions. "Close timing between an employee's protected activity and an adverse action against [her] may provide the 'causal connection' required." Swanson v. Gen. Servs. Admin., 110 F.3d 1180, 1188 (5th Cir. 1997) (quoting Armstrong v. City of Dallas, 997 F.2d 62, 67 (5th Cir. 1993)). Based on Mullenix's amended complaint, the timing is not close enough to permit a plausible inference that Mullenix's low compensation was causally connected to her previous reporting of equal-pay violations at the law school. ...
Plaintiff Linda Susan Mullenix' s Equal Pay Act and Title VII sex discrimination claims remain pending before the court.