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Monday, October 3, 2016

More On The EEOC's Lawsuit Against Denver Law School For Underpaying Female Faculty

Marsh 3Following up on Saturday's post, EEOC To Sue Denver Law School For Underpaying Female Faculty: Denver Post, EEOC Files Lawsuit Over Pay Disparities for Women at DU Law School:

Charges that the University of Denver’s Sturm College of Law violated federal law by paying women full professors less than their male counterparts, which first surfaced in 2013, now have become a federal lawsuit filed on Friday by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (complaint).

DU law professor Lucy Marsh originally filed the charges with the EEOC. The agency engaged in talks with the university to remedy the situation, but those efforts failed in May, according to the filing.

The suit says that Marsh had worked for the university for 37 years at the time of the 2013 charge, but that her annual salary, $111,977, was less than every male full-time law professor, including many who were hired after she started.

Among nine full-time female full professors, the average annual salary was nearly $20,000 less than the full-time male professors — a finding the suit claims is statistically significant. ...

But last year, the law school stood by its merit-based pay structure and claimed Marsh showed “sub-standard performance in scholarship, teaching and service.” “In this era of cost containment and assessment, we stand by our historical system of evaluation and merit pay,” said DU Chancellor Rebecca Chopp in a statement at that time.

From the  EEOC's complaint:

31. As of October 2013, the mean annual salary for female Full Law Professors was approximately $139,940.
32. As of October 2013, the mean annual salary for male Full Law Professors was approximately $159,721.
33. As of October 2013, the difference between the mean annual salary for male Full Law Professors and female Full Law Professors was approximately $19,781.
34. As of October 2013, no female Full Professor earned an annual salary greater than the mean annual salary for male Full Law Professors.
35. As of October 2013, the disparity between the mean salaries for male and female Full Law Professors is statistically significant.
36. At all relevant times, all Full Law Professors have performed substantially equal work, considering the skills, effort, and responsibilities of the job, under similar working conditions. ...
42. In December 2012, the Dean of the Law School, Martin Katz, authored a memorandum regarding the allocation of raises pursuant to a Faculty Salary Competitiveness Initiative.
43. In the December 2012 memorandum, Katz admitted the salary disparity between male and female Full Law Professors as follows:
a. “The median salary for female Full Professors was $7,532 less than that for males before this round of raises and $11,282/year less than that of males after this round of raises.”
b. “The mean salary for female Full Professors was $14,870/year less than that for males before this round of raises and $15,859/year less than that for males after this round of raises.”
44. In the memorandum, Katz offered to provide an “individualized analysis” of “whether a salary gap reflects inequity” for “anyone who would like.”
45. In January 2013, Marsh met with Katz to discuss the pay disparity between male and female Full Law Professors.
46. At the meeting, Marsh asked Katz for specific data on the faculty salaries.
47. Katz informed Marsh that she was the lowest paid Full Law Professor at the law school.
48. Katz refused to provide Marsh with any salary data for the Law School faculty.
49. When Marsh asked Katz what was going to be done about adjusting her salary, Katz replied “nothing.”
50. Katz subsequently held a meeting with several female Full Law Professors, including K.K. DuVivier, Nancy Ehrenreich, Joyce Sterling, Catherine Smith, and Celia Taylor, regarding the pay disparity between male and female Full Law Professors.
51. At the meeting, Katz speculated to the female Full Law Professors present that female Full Law Professors may be paid less because they were not performing as well as male Full Professors.
52. Upon information and belief, at the time of the meeting, Katz had not conducted any investigation into the reason(s) for the pay disparity.
53. After the meeting, Katz did not adjust the salary of any female Full Law Professor in response to the pay disparity between male and female Full Law Professors. ...
57. Upon information and belief, Defendant continues to pay female Full Law Professors significantly less than it pays male Full Law Professors.

Update:  National Law Journal, EEOC Sues Univ. of Denver Law School Over Pay Disparity

Prior TaxProf Blog coverage:

http://taxprof.typepad.com/taxprof_blog/2016/10/more-on-the-eeocs-lawsuit-against-denver-law-school-for-underpaying-female-faculty.html

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Comments

A model of salaries that only includes sex as an explanatory variable is obviously grossly under-specified. . I suppose that the EEOC's case relies on at least controlling for other potential determinants of salary. In that event, I would hope that the central DU bureaucracy was regularly requiring the law school (and other units) to regularly verify, and justify, salary outliers, esp. where those outliers were minorities/women significantly below mean. Any competent modern university would require such a thing. It can't be impossible to be a women full professor significantly less than the mean male full professor (or vice versa); it just has to be justified, and DU should have been doing that, internally, on a regular basis (e.g. whenever units implemented salary boots/payment plans).

Posted by: Jason Yackee | Oct 3, 2016 8:05:23 AM