$300,000 Settlement for Class of Female Professors Alleging Pay Bias

Wednesday, April 1, 2009
Adelphi University of Garden City, N.Y., one of the largest universities on Long Island, has agreed to settle a pay discrimination lawsuit filed by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) for more than $300,000 and significant remedial relief, the federal agency announced today. The EEOC had charged that Adelphi paid a group of women professors less than male professors performing the same work.

According to the EEOC's lawsuit, a class of female full-time professors was paid less than male professors of the same or lesser rank teaching within the same school. This violation had been ongoing since at least April 2004, the EEOC said. Pay discrimination by gender violates the Equal Pay Act and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The EEOC filed the suit in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York (EEOC v. Adelphi University, No. 07-CV-4001).

"Working women should never be shortchanged by receiving unequal pay for performing equal work," said EEOC Acting Chairman Stuart J. Ishimaru, who noted that the agency receives upward of 5,000 wage bias charge filings nationwide each year under all the statutes it enforces. "The EEOC intends to enhance enforcement in this area by focusing on systemic cases, in addition to increasing public outreach and education."

Under the terms of the consent decree settling the suit, Adelphi agreed to pay $305,889 to 37 claimants, as well as salary increases for 30 claimants. Further, Adelphi agreed to comply with the requirements of the Equal Pay Act and Title VII. The decree also requires monitoring and training on federal employment discrimination laws for the following three years.

EEOC New York Trial Attorney Louis Graziano, said,
"The consent decree puts mechanisms in place to prevent pay discrimination at Adelphi in the future."

New York District Director Spencer H. Lewis added, "Employees are entitled to a workplace without disparity and differential treatment based on sex. The EEOC will seek full relief against employers who continue to pay women less than their male peers for performing the same work."
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