MIAMI – The University of Miami violated federal law by paying a female professor less than a male counterpart for performing equal or similar work, U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) charged in a lawsuit it filed today.
The University of Miami is a private university comprised of 12 schools and colleges, including the College of Arts and Sciences which has approximately 400 faculty members. The University of Miami is one of the largest employers in Miami-Dade County, Florida.
The EEOC’s suit charged that a male political science professor was paid more than a female political science professor even though the two professors were both awarded promotion to full professor on their first attempt at promotion, at the same time, and with similar reviews by faculty. Through an inadvertently sent email, the female professor confirmed what she had before suspected – that the university was treating her less favorably than male faculty, specifically by paying her less than her male counterpart. The female professor repeatedly complained to the University of Miami, but the pay disparity continued.
Such alleged conduct violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Equal Pay Act of 1963. The EEOC filed its suit (Civil Action No. 1:19-cv-23131) in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida after first attempting to reach a pre-litigation settlement through its conciliation process.
“Employers often get away with wage discrimination because of the secrecy around employee compensation,” said EEOC Regional Attorney Robert E. Weisberg. “In this case, an email confirmed what the professor had already suspected – that she was not being treated equally to her male colleagues. The EEOC will fight vigorously to enforce her rights.”
EEOC District Director Michael Farrell added, “This is a case of a female employee’s work being given less value compared to her male colleague. The EEOC will fight for the principle of equal pay for equal work.”
The EEOC’s Miami District Office is comprised of the Miami, Tampa and San Juan EEOC offices, and has jurisdiction over Florida, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
The EEOC advances opportunity in the workplace by enforcing federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination. More information is available at www.eeoc.gov. Stay connected with the latest EEOC news by subscribing to our email updates.