SHREVEPORT – A group of teachers formerly from the Philippines has filed a lawsuit against the Caddo Parish School Board alleging discrimination in that they were paid less than other (non-Filipino) teachers.
There are 11 plaintiffs in the case.
The May 23 lawsuit filed with the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Louisiana, Shreveport Division, demanded a jury trial, alleging the teachers were treated differently, violating the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (amended 1991), as well as the laws of the State of Louisiana.
The plaintiffs filed charges with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and the Louisiana Commission on Human Rights.
According to court documents, the teachers were recruited to teach in the Caddo Parish School District by Los Angeles-based Universal Placement International Inc., a job placement organization that provides foreign teachers to school districts.
A kindergarten through grade 12 district with 40,000 students located in Shreveport, Caddo Parish according to the website niche.com, was rated 14th best of 74 school districts in Louisiana.
According to the court brief, Universal had earlier been sued by the American Federation of Teachers, alleging the agency and the Caddo School Board violated U.S. immigration laws contained in the Immigration and Nationality Act.
“The plaintiffs were part of a group of Filipino teachers who, unbeknownst to the (teachers federation) were the only Filipino teachers recruited in the nation not placed on the appropriate salary schedule based on years of experience and education,” court documents read.
The court document added that the AFT suit was resolved, but not the pay parity issue, which continues to the present.
The lawsuit alleges the plaintiffs continued to be denied employment opportunities and benefits and received less pay because of their place of origin, also because of physical, cultural and linguistic characteristics. As a result the suffered embarrassment and humiliation because of the unlawful discrimination.
Attorneys for the plaintiffs demanded the Caddo School District cease discriminatory practices and that the plaintiffs be awarded back pay and benefits, compensatory damages, attorney fees, and punitive damages.