University of Denver to pay $2.6M to settle law professors' pay discrimination claims
- The University of Denver will pay $2.66 million to settle charges that it paid a group of female professors less than their male counterparts, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) announced.
- The commission alleged in a lawsuit that the university violated the Equal Pay Act and Title VII by paying a class of its female full professors on average $19,781 less than male full professors doing the same or similar work. All of the women’s salaries were below the average salary paid to men, EEOC said. The commission also said that the university did not adjust salaries even after acknowledging the “significant pay disparity” in a 2013 memo.
- In addition to the monetary settlement, the university also agreed to increase the 2018 salaries of the seven female professors who participated in the lawsuit. It also will publish salary and compensation information to tenure, tenure-track and contract faculty; employ a labor economist to conduct an annual compensation equity study; work with an independent consultant to review methods and criteria used to determinate pay and compensation; and revise its anti-discrimination policies train employees on those policies.
This settlement demonstrates the continued momentum toward closing the pay gap throughout the nation, Beth L. Braddock, an attorney in the Morristown, New Jersey office of Jackson Lewis P.C. told HR Dive via email.
The movement is visible in various places, including at the state level, with many states enacting their own pay equity laws, including Washington and New Jersey just this year, she said.
Washington’s governor signed a bill in March that significantly overhauled the state’s equal pay laws, providing statutory protections that go beyond the federal standard. The law becomes effective June 7. New Jersey’s equal pay law becomes effective July 1.
"As pay transparency has become an area of increased focus, employers need to take these laws seriously. The implications are quite severe for those employers who fail to review their practices and engage in remedial action to rectify disparities," Braddock said. "By conducting pay analyses to determine pay gaps, potential justifications, and making adjustments, employers are taking the proactive approach. If disparities are identified, as seen in the University of Denver’s memorandum, these need to be remedied to avoid any inference of intentional discrimination."
- HR Dive A running list of states and localities that have outlawed pay history questions
- U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission University of Denver to Pay $2.66 Million and Increase Salaries to Settle EEOC Equal Pay Lawsuit