Following up on my previous posts (links below): Denver Post, DU Law School’s “Fix” For its Gender-Pay Gap Revealed a Female Professor Makes $30,000 Less Than Her Peers:
The University of Denver’s law school made professors’ salaries transparent as part of a $2.7 million settlement last year of an unequal-pay lawsuit brought by female professors. That information enabled a longtime DU professor to realize she, too, was being paid less than her male and non-Asian colleagues — and she’s taking the matter to court.
Rashmi Goel has taught DU’s Sturm College of Law for 17 years, yet she’s the lowest-paid associate professor in the law school, according to the lawsuit she filed Monday in U.S. District Court in Denver.
The lawsuit alleges DU’s law school paid Goel less based on her sex and race in violation of the Equal Pay Act of 1963. The lawsuit piggybacks off of the now-settled 2013 suit filed by a group of female professors at Sturm who said they were being unequally paid, and the steps DU took to remedy their pay gap led Goel to notice her own wage discrepancy.
Out of the law school’s 12 associate professors, Goel has been teaching there the longest, but earns at least $30,000 less than the average salary of her 11 colleagues, according to the lawsuit. Out of those 11, 10 are men and/or non-Asian, according to the suit.
Goel earns $40,000 to $50,000 less annually in base salary than the associate professors with the most comparable experience, according to the lawsuit. An assistant professor hired last year earns $8,500 more a year than Goel. The lawsuit does not specify Goel’s salary.
“Her case is really stark,” said Ariel DeFazio, one of Goel’s attorneys. “The comparison is quite shocking. We don’t usually in these kinds of cases have direct evidence that somebody is being paid less based on sex or race, but if we look at circumstantial evidence like, ‘Hey, who are the people making more?’ we can look at that pattern and make sense of it and infer there is discrimination going on.” ...
According to the lawsuit, Goel approached Sturm College of Law Dean Bruce Smith in March with her findings. “During that meeting, Smith expressed his disbelief at Plaintiff’s low salary, especially in comparison to her junior colleagues, and went so far as to say that he had tried to ‘reverse engineer’ how DU had arrived at her salary but was unable to do so,” Goel’s attorneys wrote in the lawsuit. “Smith further agreed that this was a pressing issue that needed to be fixed promptly.”
But there has been no movement, DeFazio said.
Update: Law.com, Denver Law Sued for Underpaying Female Professor—Again
Prior TaxProf Blog coverage:
- Female Denver Law Prof Files EEOC Complaint Over Lowest Salary Among Tenured Professors ($109,000) ( (July 11, 2013)
- EEOC: Denver Law School Is Underpaying Female Faculty, Who May Recover $1.2 Million In Damages (Sept. 1, 2015)
- EEOC To Sue Denver Law School For Underpaying Female Faculty (Oct. 1, 2016)
- More On The EEOC's Lawsuit Against Denver Law School For Underpaying Female Faculty (Oct. 3, 2016)
- The Market Myth And Pay Disparity in Legal Academia: We Should Amend The Equal Pay Act To Prohibit Market Excuses For Pay Differentials (Oct. 26, 2016)
- Denver Law School Faces Federal Equal Pay Lawsuit From Eight Female Professors (May 15, 2017)
- Three More Female Law Profs Sue University Of Denver Over Pay Gap (June 20, 2017)
- DuVivier, Sterling (Associate Dean For Faculty Scholarship) Join Lawsuit Alleging Gender Discrimination In Faculty Salaries At Denver Law School (Aug. 23, 2017)
- Seven Female Denver Law Profs To Receive $2.7m In EEOC Settlement Of Equal Pay Claim (May 18, 2018)
- 4 Takeaways From Female Law Profs' Equal Pay Settlement (June 27, 2018)
- Denver Law School Pays Up Big-Time Over Gender Pay Disparity (Sept. 28, 2018)