Princeton University, one of the nation’s most elite colleges, has agreed to pay close to $1 million in back pay to female professors following a Department of Labor investigation into pay discrimination.
The Ivy League institution will pay $925,000 in back pay and some $250,000 in future wages as part of an “early resolution conciliation agreement,” the Department of Labor announced earlier this month.
The Department of Labor’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs found that between 2012 and 2014, 106 women in full professor positions at Princeton were paid less than their male counterparts, per the press release.
While not admitting liability in the settlement, Princeton University agreed to make various changes. For example, Princeton leaders will conduct pay equity trainings for all staff, as well as statistical analyses to see if other disparities currently exist.
Researchers at the Ohio State University combed through HR data in 2019 and found an 11% wage gap between similarly qualified female and male professors, pointing to a larger problem in academia.
Princeton spokesperson Ben Chang, in a statement in Princeton University’s alumni magazine, said the university’s own statistical analyses for 2012-14 “found no meaningful pay disparities based on gender.”
“Despite our confidence in the merits of our position and our belief that we were (and are) in full compliance with both the letter and the spirit of the law, Princeton agreed to resolve the dispute to avoid lengthy and costly litigation and its impact on the faculty and the University,” Chang said.
Princeton agreed to the resolution, according to CNN, “in an effort to avoid expensive and lengthy litigation.”
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