- Associated Press - Thursday, August 11, 2016

LAS CRUCES, N.M. (AP) - The U.S. Justice Department is suing New Mexico State University and its regents over alleged pay inequities among male and female track coaches.

The lawsuit announced Thursday accuses the university of discriminating against former assistant track coach Meaghan Harkins on the basis of gender by paying her less than male colleagues with similar responsibilities.

Prosecutors say the disparity amounted to a civil rights violation and thousands of dollars less per year for Harkins.

The university says it shares the Justice Department’s commitment to equal pay for equal work but disputes the allegations. NMSU says Harkins did not hold the same position as the other coaches.

NMSU general counsel Liz Ellis says Harkins was the spouse of a full-time assistant coach and had been volunteering when her husband requested a third-tier paid position be created to compensate her for her work.

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