Syracuse University (SU) has reached a $3.7 million settlement with five female faculty who filed a class-action lawsuit against the university, claiming that the school engaged in discriminatory pay and promotion policies based on gender.
The New York-based university agreed to the settlement but continues to deny the accusations. The institution disclosed that more than 150 female employees received a pay increase after it conducted a salary evaluation in 2017, resulting in nearly $2 million in additional yearly compensation.
With the settlement proposal filed on Friday, most full-time female faculty will receive higher compensation once it is approved by the court. Those who worked full-time for at least one calendar year starting January 8, 2014, are eligible for settlement payments ranging from $1,140 to $19,000 per person.
However, SU clarified on its website that adjunct and part-time women faculty and staff would not be eligible for any payments.
Gender Pay Inequality at Syracuse
In the lawsuit, the five women argued that Syracuse paid female assistants, associates, and full professors less than male counterparts. They also alleged that the university “systematically underrated female faculty members” both in pay and promotion.
Political science professor Audie Klotz informed Syracuse.com that the 2017 faculty salary report proved the pay inequity, motivating her and other plaintiffs to seek legal action against the school.
“I look forward to seeing what actions they put in place to continue to remedy the ongoing situation. I hope people at other universities also take note and that it validates their concerns,” Klotz said.
SU Senior Vice President Steve Bennett released a statement reiterating the school’s commitment to establishing a fair, equitable, and supportive work environment.
“We continue to work closely with academic leadership to ensure salaries are commensurate with every faculty member’s job responsibilities, efforts and accomplishments, regardless of gender,” Bennett said.