Trial for racial discrimination lawsuit against UC Regents begins today

The proceedings for a case involving a UC San Francisco employee who filed a racial discrimination lawsuit against the UC Board of Regents began today.

Campus employee Todd Senigar, who is black, filed a racial discrimination lawsuit in the San Francisco Superior Court alleging that he was not provided opportunities for training and promotion and that his salary was not comparable to that of his white peers who retained jobs of similar duties. The trial kicked off with opening statements this afternoon, though no evidence has been presented yet.

According to a statement released by UCSF, which is represented by outside counsel, Senigar was employed in information technology and network operations during the time period specified in the lawsuit.

Senigar, who began working at UCSF in October 1999 as an administrative assistant, was promoted three times during the course of his 12-year career, according to his filed complaint.

He received one pay increase in October 2004, which he alleges was still annually approximately $6,000 to $10,000 less than his “lowest paid … white peer,” according to the complaint. He alleges that this continued through September 2008.

USCF stated that the court has already dismissed six of Senigar’s seven claims, including “wage discrimination, retaliation and failure to prevent harassment.”

Senigar’s final claim — which has yet to be considered in court — alleges that he was not promoted to a newly aligned management position in 2009 due to his race. Senigar alleges that verbal harassment and harmful allegations in the office about his reputation kept him  from receiving the job or any additional salary increases.

UCSF maintains that the position that Senigar applied for was eliminated before it was filled due to budget cuts though the company followed “policies designed to promote diversity by openly posting the position and permitting both internal and external candidates to apply.”

Correction(s):
A previous version of this article incorrectly stated that Todd Senigar was a former UC San Francisco employee. In fact, it was not until Oct. 24 that he was no longer an employee of the university, according to UCSF spokesperson Jennifer O’Brien.