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Syracuse University Settles Private Class Action Pay Discrimination Lawsuit

2021-11-08

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 discrimination 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, with 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, Audit Klotz, Elizabeth Lasch-Quinn, and Fiona Chew, will receive $15,000.  The remaining two women, Tula Geonka and Barbara Jones, 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, Audie Klotz, 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

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