At least 47 different groups are rallying behind Jennifer Freyd, a psychology professor at the University of Oregon, who sued the school over pay discrimination.
Last week, organizations like the American Association of University professors (AAUP), National Women’s Law Center, the ACLU Women’s Rights Project, among others, filed amicus briefs in the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in support of Freyd.
According to the Herald and News report, Freyd filed the lawsuit against the university in 2017 alleging it of gender discrimination with huge pay disparities between female and male faculty members.
Earlier this year, the district court sided with the university saying that they didn’t perform “equal work” and cited “academic freedom” of faculty as the justification of difference in pay.
“Academic freedom is a condition of employment that all faculty hold in common to enhance their ability to engage in teaching, research, and service. It is not a weapon to be wielded as a justification for gender-based inequalities,” AAUP wrote in its brief while arguing against the court’s observation.
AAUP files Ninth Circuit amicus brief in support of plaintiff professor in sex discrimination suit against the University of Oregon. Plaintiff Jennifer Freyd alleges that UO professors and administrators abused their “academic freedom” to discriminate. https://t.co/y0tFi6cKyf
— Richard W. Painter (@RWPUSA) October 2, 2019
The university has long been maintaining that it fairly compensates its female faculty members.
“The university appreciates the concerns raised by professor Freyd and the advocacy groups who filed amici briefing for her case,” Kay Jarvis, director of public affairs and issues management for the university told the Herald and News.
A recent survey conducted by the AAUP found the pay gap in the salaries between males and females at full-time positions is increasing, Over the last academic year, female faculty were paid 81.6 percent of the salaries of males. This has primarily been attributed to an unequal distribution of employment between men and women in terms of institution type and faculty rank.
In December, a $20 million lawsuit was filed against the University of Arizona by Katrina Miranda, an associate professor in chemistry and biochemistry for denying equal access to work resources, promotion and of retaliation, if any faculty member complains against it.