Monday, September 25, 2023
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NYU Professor’s Gender Claim Can Proceed

MANHATTAN (CN) - A federal judge allowed discovery to proceed in a New York University professor's claim that she was paid less than male colleagues. But U.S. District Judge Lewis Kaplan's 36-page order booted other allegations of discriminations and retaliation.

April Klein, a professor in the department of accounting, taxation and business law at the Leonard N. Stern School of Business, sued NYU on Jan. 9, 2007 for failing to promote her. Klein had signed a 1998 memorandum alleging that female professors were paid less, disrespected more and likelier to report job dissatisfaction than male colleagues.

Judge Kaplan tossed Klein's discrimination and retaliation claims, saying some were time-barred, unconvincing and/or belied by the university's subsequent promotions of five other signatories of the memo.

Kaplan was more receptive to Klein's claim that she was paid less than three male colleagues in the accounting department: Eli Bartov, Stephen Ryan and Paul Zarowin.

"Klein was paid less than each of the comparators. The evidence would permit a conclusion that they all performed the same job requiring substantially equal skill, effort, and responsibility in similar working conditions as professors in the same department. Although all of the comparators were promoted from associate professor to full professor before Klein, a reasonable jury could find that the skill and effort required to do their work was substantially the same," the order states.

NYU argued that a declaration by Professor Ingo Walter, who became vice dean of faculty in 2008, showed that Klein's colleagues received higher pay for other reasons.

"Walter's declaration alone is not sufficient to rule out Klein's theory that she would have received comparable pay but for her gender. He was not involved in deciding merit increases until 2008, and there is no other evidence about how merit increases actually were determined. This issue therefore cannot be decided on the current record," the order states.

Kaplan filed a corrected version of the order on Friday.

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