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University of Oregon Settles Four-Year Pay Disparity Lawsuit

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The University of Oregon (UO) has reached a settlement with a former psychology professor who claimed that she was paid less than male colleagues four years after the initial lawsuit was filed. 

Jennifer Freyd, who is now retired, took legal action against the school back in 2017 after learning that male professors with equal or lesser experience were given a higher salary. 

The court ruled in favor of UO two years later, but Freyd filed an appeal with the 9th US Circuit Court of Appeals. In March, the court agreed to revisit the case, deciding to send the case to trial before a settlement was agreed.

Moving On

In a news release, the university announced that both parties agreed to settle for a total of $450,000. A portion of the settlement amounting to $350,000 will be given to Freyd and her attorneys for legal fees, damages, and lost wages. 

UO will donate the remaining $100,000 to the Center for Institutional Courage, which Freyd founded.

“We are pleased to put this litigation behind us and together affirm our continued commitment to uncover, acknowledge and address gender inequity and other forms of discrimination,” said UO Vice President and General Counsel Kevin Reed in a joint statement.

The Bulletin reported that Freyd is happy with the outcome of the case. In an emailed statement, the retired professor said, “One is the time and freedom it provides me to pursue my work on institutional betrayal and institutional courage.”

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