University of Michigan Law School
Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse
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Case Name EEOC v. University of Denver EE-CO-0070
Docket / Court 1:16-cv-02471-WYD-MJW ( D. Colo. )
State/Territory Colorado
Case Type(s) Equal Employment
Attorney Organization EEOC
Case Summary
On September 30, 2016, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) filed this lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado The EEOC sued the University of Denver Sturm College of Law, on behalf of seven full-time law professors, under the Equal Pay Act of 1963, Title VII ... read more >
On September 30, 2016, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) filed this lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado The EEOC sued the University of Denver Sturm College of Law, on behalf of seven full-time law professors, under the Equal Pay Act of 1963, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and Title I of the Civil Rights Act of 1991. It alleged that the University discriminated against the complainants by paying them substantially less than male full-time law professors even though their work was substantially equal. The complaint sought monetary relief, injunctive relief, and attorneys’ fees and costs.

The case was assigned to Judge Wiley Y. Daniel. On January 3, the EEOC filed an amended complaint. The amended complaint contained no significant differences but merely rephrased some of the claims for relief.

Over the course of the litigation, seven female full-time law professors intervened. Four of those intervenors filed their own complaints.

The following year, after several months of negotiations, the parties filed a joint motion requesting that the court enter a consent decree they believe is fair, reasonable, equitable and not the product of collusion. On May 18, 2018, Judge Daniel granted the motion and approved the consent decree. The consent decree term was 6 years; it included monetary relief and injunctive relief (required changes to policy and procedure).

Under the consent decree, the complainants, several intervenors, and their attorneys received $2,660,000 after each plaintiff-intervenor signed a release waiving their right to bring suit in a future claim on the matter. Additionally, the University was required to increase salaries for the female law professors to better equalize pay among male and female law professors at the University.

The consent decree enjoined the University from engaging in sex discrimination affecting compensation and permanently enjoins retaliation against any individual related to the case. The University was required to adopt and maintain a policy statement encouraging employees to report any conduct believed to be discriminatory. The University was also required to provide salary and compensation disclosures, as well as conduct a study to consider whether any disparities in compensation are attributable to gender or to gender combined with other protected characteristics like race.

Further, the University was required to provide equal employment opportunity training and training in the new policy and procedures for all law school employees. All records concerning implementation of the consent decree were to be maintained by the University. The parties were to appoint an independent consultant to evaluate the University’s compliance with the consent decree.

The decree was set to last for 6 years, with the Court retaining jurisdiction over compliance disputes. Implementation is ongoing.

Jake Parker - 05/24/2018


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Affected Gender
Female
Content of Injunction
Auditing
Develop anti-discrimination policy
Discrimination Prohibition
Implement complaint/dispute resolution process
Monitoring
Post/Distribute Notice of Rights / EE Law
Provide antidiscrimination training
Recordkeeping
Reporting
Required disclosure
Retaliation Prohibition
Training
Defendant-type
College/University
Discrimination-area
Pay / Benefits
Discrimination-basis
Sex discrimination
EEOC-centric
Direct Suit on Merits
General
Disparate Treatment
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Causes of Action Equal Pay Act, 29 U.S.C. § 206(d)
Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), 29 U.S.C. §§ 201-219
Title VII (including PDA), 42 U.S.C. § 2000e
Defendant(s) University of Denver
Plaintiff Description Plaintiff is the EEOC, on behalf of female full-time law professors at the University of Denver Sturm College of Law. Several of those professors also intervened.
Indexed Lawyer Organizations EEOC
Class action status sought No
Class action status granted No
Prevailing Party Plaintiff
Public Int. Lawyer Yes
Nature of Relief Damages
Injunction / Injunctive-like Settlement
Source of Relief Settlement
Form of Settlement Court Approved Settlement or Consent Decree
Order Duration 2018 - 2024
Case Closing Year 2024
Case Ongoing Yes
Additional Resources
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  University of Denver to Pay $2.66 Million and Increase Salaries to Settle EEOC Equal Pay Lawsuit
https://www.eeoc.gov
Date: May 1018
By: EEOC
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

  Microsoft Gender Discrimination Class Action Lawsuit
Date: Oct. 14, 2016
By: Outten & Golden
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

  Age Discrimination Class Action seeks Fair Employment for Older PwC Applicants
http://www.pwcagecase.com/
Date: Apr. 27, 2016
By: Outten & Golden
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

  Smith Barney Gender Discrimination
https://www.lieffcabraser.com/employment/smith-barney/
Date: August 2008
By: Outten & Golden
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

  Megacases, Diversity, and the Elusive Goal of Workplace Reform
Date: Mar. 1, 2008
By: Nancy Levit (University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Law Faculty)
Citation: 49 B.C. L. Rev. 367 (2008)
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

  Second Generation Employment Discrimination: A Structural Approach
Date: Apr. 1, 2001
By: Susan Sturm (Columbia Law School Faculty)
Citation: 101 Colum. L. Rev. 458 (2001)
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

Docket(s)
1:16-cv-2471 (D. Colo.)
EE-CO-0070-9000.pdf | Detail
Date: 05/18/2018
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Complaint [ECF# 1]
EE-CO-0070-0001.pdf | Detail
Date: 09/30/2016
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Amended Complaint [ECF# 17]
EE-CO-0070-0002.pdf | Detail
Date: 01/03/2017
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order [ECF# 25] (D. Colo.)
EE-CO-0070-0004.pdf | Detail
Date: 01/23/2017
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Complaint in Intervention [ECF# 31]
EE-CO-0070-0005.pdf | Detail
Date: 01/23/2017
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order [ECF# 49] (D. Colo.)
EE-CO-0070-0006.pdf | Detail
Date: 06/28/2017
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Complaint in Intervention [ECF# 50]
EE-CO-0070-0007.pdf | Detail
Date: 06/28/2017
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order [ECF# 63] (D. Colo.)
EE-CO-0070-0008.pdf | Detail
Date: 08/23/2017
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order [ECF# 80] (D. Colo.)
EE-CO-0070-0009.pdf | Detail
Date: 10/02/2017
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Consent Decree [ECF# 132] (D. Colo.)
EE-CO-0070-0003.pdf | Detail
Date: 05/18/2018
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Judges Daniel, Wiley Young (D. Colo.)
EE-CO-0070-0003 | EE-CO-0070-0004 | EE-CO-0070-0006 | EE-CO-0070-0008 | EE-CO-0070-0009 | EE-CO-0070-9000
Watanabe, Michael J. (D. Colo.) [Magistrate]
EE-CO-0070-9000
Plaintiff's Lawyers Awad, Wasan (Arizona)
EE-CO-0070-9000
Bechtold, Joan Marie (Colorado)
EE-CO-0070-0003 | EE-CO-0070-0007 | EE-CO-0070-9000
Boonin, Jonathan B. (Colorado)
EE-CO-0070-0003 | EE-CO-0070-0005 | EE-CO-0070-9000
DeFazio, Ariel Beryl (Colorado)
EE-CO-0070-0007 | EE-CO-0070-9000
Groth, Lauren Elizabeth (Colorado)
EE-CO-0070-0005 | EE-CO-0070-9000
Imdieke, Michael H. (Colorado)
EE-CO-0070-0001 | EE-CO-0070-0002 | EE-CO-0070-0003 | EE-CO-0070-9000
Kerr, Baine P. (Colorado)
EE-CO-0070-0003 | EE-CO-0070-0005 | EE-CO-0070-9000
Kittle, Rita Byrnes (Colorado)
EE-CO-0070-0001 | EE-CO-0070-0003 | EE-CO-0070-9000
Lopez, P. David (District of Columbia)
EE-CO-0070-0001
Peterson-Fischer, Rebecca (California)
EE-CO-0070-0005
Reams, Gwendolyn Young (District of Columbia)
EE-CO-0070-0001
Reisch, Jennifer Abby (California)
EE-CO-0070-0003 | EE-CO-0070-0005 | EE-CO-0070-9000
Sweeney, Charlotte Noelle (Colorado)
EE-CO-0070-0003 | EE-CO-0070-0007 | EE-CO-0070-9000
Tetzlaff, Karl R. (Colorado)
EE-CO-0070-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Goh, Jim (Colorado)
EE-CO-0070-0003 | EE-CO-0070-9000
Gray, LaLonnie (Colorado)
EE-CO-0070-9000
Kearns, Ellen Cecilia (Massachusetts)
EE-CO-0070-9000
Mangum, Erin Rayner (Colorado)
EE-CO-0070-9000
Moore, Steven Woodrow (Colorado)
EE-CO-0070-9000

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