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Editor: Paul L. Caron, Dean
Pepperdine University School of Law

Saturday, October 1, 2016

EEOC To Sue Denver Law School For Underpaying Female Faculty

Denver Logo (2015)Following up on my previous posts:

9 News, Professor: EEOC Will File Suit Against DU Over Equal Pay:

University of Denver Law Professor Lucy Marsh says the EEOC will file a lawsuit Friday against her employer over equal pay to women professors.

"It seems to me that what we've got is a pattern of a number of law school deans have been intentionally, knowingly, violating the law," Marsh said.

She has been a professor of law at DU since 1973. Marsh specializes in teaching courses in trusts, estates, property, and civil procedure. In 2013, she discovered that male professors were paid about $16,000 more than female professors within the School of Law.

"We tried to negotiate with the school first before we ever went to the EEOC and the school didn't even answer," Marsh said.

The federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission eventually did get involved and conducted its own investigation into the pay practices at the DU law school." And, came to the conclusion that indeed DU was discriminating against all the women full professors," Marsh said. "We were getting paid significantly less."

Marsh says the EEOC will file a lawsuit Friday over violations of the Equal Pay Act.

Legal Education | Permalink


If Trump wins, we may some suits for discrimination against white men.

Posted by: mike livingston | Oct 1, 2016 3:20:25 AM

Regarding her pay as a professor, there are certainly a lot of variables to consider. Right? Did she meet the university's requirements for publication each year? Perhaps they don't have a "publication" mandate, but a "creative activity" mandate, which could be met in other ways besides publishing. Was she rated the same as her peers in her annual reviews? Did she meet the requirements of her department's annual review each year? These considerations will factor into whether or not she was discriminated against. The issue is not black/white via publication. Perhaps she was allowed to redistribute her workload to lower the publication aspect and work in other ways. Tenured professors can do this redistribution if they work in other important ways, like writing grants for the university.

Also, for the person who remarked about her job is a six-figure "cushy" position, people work very hard to secure a doctoral degree in medicine, education, or law. They also pay six figures to have the right to earn the degree. It takes years of hard work and competition. Less than 1% of all Americans hold a doctorate, this is because it's HARD to get a doctorate and takes a belief in deferred gratification. Additionally, it's very hard to earn and receive a professor position at any institution. The high level of thinking and work is beyond understanding by those without this level of knowledge. So, let's allow the courts to examine the evidence and determine if she was discriminated against. We don't know all of the variables, only the players in the court case will. Most often, women are NOT paid the same as men for any good reason, and it is discriminatory. I also wouldn't factor in the mother card. For women at this level of education and work, it's typically not an issue meaning they've gotten into this career knowing that mothering will never be an excuse to not produce. Fascinating case and we'll all be watching and waiting the results. It's likely that this case will set an important precedence for other women to sue their employers. Discriminating employers should be concerned with the results. They could be next.

Posted by: Jill | Oct 1, 2016 11:06:46 AM

She's been a professor since 1982 and been cited in the law review literature according to Westlaw 41 times. That's not a typo. 34 year career, cited less often than one moderately successful law review article.

Posted by: SB | Oct 1, 2016 2:38:36 PM

Most of her publications have been in the Colorado bar publication. Not very scholarly.

Posted by: anymouse | Oct 1, 2016 8:29:18 PM

SB: "The high level of thinking and work is beyond understanding by those without this level of knowledge." - risible arrogance.

Posted by: Tom | Oct 2, 2016 3:12:28 AM

Would someone please post the actual complaint so we can see the EEOC's allegations?

Posted by: Details | Oct 2, 2016 10:46:40 AM

But if male professors also didn't publish, and got paid more, she'd have a point

Posted by: mike livingston | Oct 2, 2016 1:53:39 PM

I'm shocked that the other 199 law schools haven't been snapping up such undervalued legal talent and stealing these faculty away from Denver!

Posted by: anon | Oct 2, 2016 8:45:27 PM