Is This The New Test Case For Affirmative Action?
By Tamala M. Edwards/TIME
This week lawyers for college instructor YVETTE FARMER plan to ask the U.S. Supreme Court to consider what could be a pivotal affirmative-action case. Farmer, a white woman, alleges that the sociology department at the University of Nevada, Reno, passed her over for a job and that later, when it did hire her, she was paid $7,000 less than a comparable black teacher because of her race and gender. Farmer, who is suing for back pay, claims that university officials explicitly told her JOHNSON MAKOBA, a black Ugandan, was hired first and paid more because "he's black and you're not." The university acknowledges that race played a factor, since it was seeking to increase its diversity, but maintains that Makoba was a better candidate and that the market justified his higher salary. Farmer's lawyers are challenging a Nevada Supreme Court ruling, a reversal of a unanimous pro-Farmer jury decision.
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Cover Date: Dec. 29, 1997
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