Professor Freyd gets $450K from UO in pay discrimination lawsuit

Thanks to an anonymous reader for forwarding this email from Prof Freyd to her Psychology Department colleagues, sent out today:

Dear Colleagues,

I’m pleased to share with you this statement issued jointly by the UO and me:

Professor Emerit Jennifer Freyd and the University of Oregon are pleased to announce that we have settled our lawsuit after more than four years of litigation. Under the settlement, the University will pay Prof. Freyd and her attorneys $350,000 to cover her claims for damages as well as attorney’s fees over the four years of litigation. In addition, the University will make a $100,000 donation to the Center for Institutional Courage, the foundation founded by Prof. Freyd dedicated to scientific research and action promoting institutional courage.

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.

Additional information is posted here:

I am glad to have the case settled for several reasons. One is the time and freedom it provides me to pursue my work on institutional betrayal and institutional courage. I am also glad for the financial support for the Center for Institutional Courage – a research and education nonprofit I founded in early 2020.

By preserving the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals decision regarding my lawsuit, the greatest value of the settlement for me is what it can mean for equity and equality in academia and beyond.

The Ninth Circuit’s decision establishes important precedent in two ways. It affirms the applicability of the Equal Pay Act to academic and professional jobs. The Ninth Circuit opinion also affirms that when employer practices like retention raises result in lower salaries for women, these practices may violate the law, even if the discriminatory outcome was unintentional (Title VII, disparate impact). The importance of this appeals court precedent has been noted in over two dozen publications.

I am grateful to my attorney Jennifer Middleton and her team who showed such dedication to equity and justice. I am also grateful to the many other attorneys and organizations around the country that supported, through amicus briefs and other mechanisms, our efforts to pursue justice and equity for women in this country.

I am also deeply appreciative of the support from my students and colleagues at the University of Oregon and more around the country, who have provided me much support while courageously speaking out about and confronting inequity and injustice.

In the years ahead I look forward to continuing to advance scientific research and education regarding institutional betrayal and institutional courage through the Center for Institutional Courage, with the goal to create more accountable, effective, and equitable institutions for everyone.

With my best wishes,

Jennifer Freyd

Jennifer J. Freyd, PhD
Founder and President, Center for Institutional Courage
Professor Emerit of Psychology, University of Oregon
Affiliated Faculty, Women’s Leadership Lab, Stanford University
Editor, Journal of Trauma & Dissociation

Earlier today: UO GC Kevin Reed brought to his senses by persistent Professor Freyd?

After more than 4 years of bad publicity for the UO, and who knows how many billable hours for outside attorney Paula Barran and her ilk, it appears UO has finally caved and settled Jennifer Freyd’s gender discrimination case, rather than take it to a jury or the SCOTUS. At least I think that’s what this means, clip posted below. Despite the claims by UO and Barran that the 9th Circuit’s decision to support Freyd would destroy the national academic labor market, in the end Reed, Barran, and Schill were able to find just one supporter willing to file an amicus brief.

Hilariously, that friend was Miles K. Davis, President of Linfield university and the Oregon Alliance of Independent Colleges and Universities. Davis is best known for firing tenured professor professor and Shakespeare scholar Daniel Pollack-Pelzner. Davis’s brief – actually written by Barran et al. – is here, and is notable for claiming that academic freedom gives universities the right to pay less than competitive market wages. These arguments did not convince the 9th circuit, and UO’s pro-wage discrimination argument is no longer precedent. The details of the financial settlement for Professor Freyd will presumably become public eventually.

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9 Responses to Professor Freyd gets $450K from UO in pay discrimination lawsuit

  1. just different says:

    Wow, the Linfield amicus brief is quite the extended exercise in saying the quiet part out loud. This was supposed to be helpful to UO?

  2. New Year Cat says:

    Congratulations to Dr. Freyd, and thanks to her for her own courage in enduring such an infuriating, exhausting, expensive struggle. Shame on the University of Oregon for dragging this out for four years when it should have taken four minutes to do the right thing.

  3. cheyney ryan says:

    HOW MUCH DID THE LAWYERS CHARGE? Can we get the administration to come clean on how much they spent on this immoral and ultimately pointless suit with Prof Freyd? Here’s a comparison. Barran and Liebman investigated some Title IX complaints against the Provost’s office a few years ago, billed about $70,000–and this took TWO months. At that rate, I suspect this years-long fiasco of their could have cost us at least $500,000 dollars. By the way, I believe they have lost every case they’ve had where the opposing att’y had been Prof Freyd’s lawyer, Jennifer Middleton.

  4. Dog says:

    and her recent retirement might also have something to do with this settlement but in the above, @NewYearCat exaggerates the do-right timescale, should have been 4 seconds …

  5. thedude says:

    What would the gender equity raises paid out a few years ago that the admins signed off on say about whether she was underpaid? Was she still here and one of the few getting equity raises?