Women Doctors Sue Veterans Affairs Over Unequal Pay


Women Doctors Sue Veterans Affairs Over Unequal Pay
John L. McClellan Memorial Veterans Hospital in Little Rock

Two women emergency room doctors at the John L. McClellan Memorial Veterans Hospital in Little Rock have sued the Department of Veterans Affairs for allegedly not paying them the same as men in the same position.

Drs. Gayle Gordon and Teresa Maxwell filed a similar lawsuit in 2011 over allegations of unequal pay. That case is pending in the U.S. Court of Federal Claims.

They filed another lawsuit last month in U.S. District Court in Little Rock and alleged that male emergency room doctors are still receiving at least $14,000 more a year than they are for performing the same work. The new lawsuit, filed by James Nickels of Sherwood, focuses on alleged violations by the Central Arkansas Veterans Health Care System under the federal law that prohibits sex discrimination, Nickels said.

The doctors alleged that the practice of not paying women doctors the same as men for the equal work dates back to at least 2003.

“After repeated complaints by the plaintiffs, not only has the defendant refused to raise the plaintiffs’ salaries to that of the men in the same job, but the defendant has hired men into the same job” that the women doctors held but at higher salaries, the lawsuit said.

Richard Pence Jr. at the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Little Rock, who is representing the Department of Veterans Affairs, declined to comment on the pending litigation.

As of last Thursday, the VA hadn’t filed an answer in the case.