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EEOC files lawsuit against law school over gender bias in professor pay

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) recently filed a lawsuit against the University of Denver amid claims that the school violated federal law by paying female employees lower wages than men.

Specifically, the case alleges that the University’s Sturm College of Law paid a class of female full law professors lower salaries than their male counterparts, even though both genders were doing the same work under similar conditions. The worst part? Sources suggest these disparities in salaries dates back to 1973!!

According to an article published in The Denver Post, longtime Denver law school professor Lucy Marsh filed a complaint with the EEOC more than two years ago. The commission subsequently sent a letter to the university stating that an investigation suggested that the disparities dates back to the 1970s and that the university was aware of the gap by 2012 and yet “took no action to ameliorate this disparity, in effect intentionally condoning and formalizing a history of wage disparity based on sex.”

The article goes on to state that the university in 2014 hired a consultant to evaluate the law school’s pay structure and this individual determined that there was no evidence that the differences in salaries were based on gender and rather were a reflection of a professor’s rank, duties, age and performance scores.

Still, the EEOC is forging forward with the lawsuit, which seeks back pay damages for lost wages, liquidated damages and punitive damages, as well as prospective salary increases to ensure the staff impacted by the previous pay structure are paid equally in the future. In addition, the commission “seeks appropriate injunctive relief to prevent discriminatory practices in the future,” according to HR Morning News.

We’ll keep you posted on how this one plays out.

 

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