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University of Denver settles law school pay discrimination suit

University of Denver settles law school pay discrimination suit

The University of Denver will pay $2.66 million to settle a pay discrimination lawsuit filed by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission in which it was charged with paying female law professors less than their male counterparts, the agency said Thursday.

The EEOC lawsuit charged that as of October 2013, female full professors at the university’s Sturm College of Law were paid on average $19,781 less than male full professors. The EEOC said although the university formally recognized the pay disparity in a 2013 memo, it declined to take corrective action by adjusting the female professors’ salaries.

The university was charged with violating the Equal Pay Act of 1963 and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

In addition to the $2.66 million in monetary damages to the seven female professors who participated in the lawsuit, the university is also required to increase their salary, annually publish salary and compensation information to tenure, tenure track and contract faculty and hire a labor economist to conduct an annual compensation equity study, the EEOC said.

Phoenix District Director Elizabeth Cadle said in a statement, "This resolution is an excellent result, not only for the seven women who will receive compensation and salary increases to address past pay inequities, but also for other faculty members who will benefit from increased pay transparency and an annual pay equity study targeted at preventing similar inequities from arising in the future.”

The university said in a statement that the settlement “by its nature took longer than we would have liked. While confident in our legal position, we were motivated to action by our strong desire to heal our community and move forward together. We believe this settlement will allow us to collectively focus on a present and a future in which the law school — and the DU community as a whole — can unite under our common values of equity, integrity and opportunity.”

In January, a federal appeals court overturned a lower court ruling and reinstated an Equal Pay Act lawsuit filed by the EEOC against Maryland’s insurance regulator on the basis male employees were paid more than women, in a divided opinion.






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