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Syracuse University Settles Private Class Action Pay Discrimination Lawsuit

By OutSolve - Dec 6, 2021 8:56:07 PM - 3 MINS READ

The university will pay $3,713,000 to resolve the claims filed by five female faculty members

To settle a class-action lawsuit filed in the New York Supreme Court by five female faculty members, Syracuse University agreed to pay over $3.7 million. The females claimed that the school’s pay and promotion policies discriminate against women.

The women alleged that Syracuse University paid its female faculty holding ranks of assistant, associate, and full professor less than similarly situated males. The suit also alleged that the university “systemically underrated female faculty members” and subjected women to promotion standards that undervalued their contributions compared to men.

The settlement agreement must still be approved by the court. If approved, women faculty members who were full-time tenured or tenure-track associate professors or full professors for at least one calendar year starting January 8, 2014, will be offered settlement payments ranging from $1,140 to $19,000 per person. Adjunct and part-time women faculty members and staff members will not be eligible for any payments. In addition, $1.23 million will be set aside for attorney fees. Three of the women who filed the lawsuit will receive $15,000. The remaining two women will each receive payments of $5,000.

The university stated that it had raised the pay before the lawsuit of more than 150 women faculty members by nearly $2 million since it conducted a 2017 evaluation of full-time faculty salaries. One of the defendants, a political science professor said that the 2017 faculty salary report exposed inequities that prompted her and the four other women to file the class-action lawsuit.

Syracuse University press release and FAQs

OutSolve OFCCP Insights

OutSolve’s Take

This case is yet another example of why we continue to stress the importance of conducting pay equity analyses. Our prior blogs have primarily addressed either OFCCP or EEOC settlements related to compensation discrimination claims; however, this case went through the court system all the way to the state Supreme Court. Even though Syracuse University recognized and attempted to fix the pay inequities prior to this settlement, the increases were a little too late and not as thorough as they would have been if proactive analyses and resolution would have occurred. Organizations who would like additional information on OutSolve’s Pay Equity Analysis, or other compliance services, can reach out to us at info@outsolve.com or by calling 888-414-2410.


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