History professor sues UT-Austin, claims retaliation against sharing report on race-based pay disparities

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Photo Credit: Jamie Hwang | Daily Texan Staff

A history professor filed a lawsuit against the University accusing a supervisor of retaliating against him after he distributed a report highlighting pay disparities faced by Black and Hispanic employees in the history department.

History professor Alberto Martinez notified his supervisor and co-workers in spring 2018 that Hispanic employees were being discriminated against in the history department, according to the lawsuit. Martinez was appointed as chair of the Committee on Equity to review salaries and promotions, according to the lawsuit.

In October 2018, Martinez distributed a report to his supervisors and colleagues with data that showed Black and Hispanic employees were paid less and were less likely to be promoted to positions of leadership in the department, according to the lawsuit. Several days later, the supervisor said the Committee on Equity would be disbanded and made other changes without consulting Martinez, according to the lawsuit.

Martinez’s supervisor accused him of discrimination against women, sexual assault and anti-Semitic comments, all of which were “entirely false,” according to the lawsuit.

University spokesperson J.B. Bird said the University will address Martinez’s allegations about his situation in response.

“Professor Martinez is a member of the University’s Equity Review Process Consultative Committee, where he is in a position to participate in the University-wide initiative to review salary differences, understand bases for differences and offer feedback,” Bird said. “We look forward to continuing this important work.”

Editor’s note: This story has been updated with a comment from a University spokesperson.