Distinguished UO Professor Files Suit Alleging Discriminatory Pay Practices

UO Professor Jennifer Freyd

UO Professor Jennifer Freyd

University of Oregon Psychology Professor Jennifer Freyd filed a lawsuit against the university today challenging its sex discrimination in pay. A copy of the Complaint can be found here.

Despite a quarter century as one of the most distinguished full professors in the UO’s Psychology Department, Jennifer Freyd’s salary is as much as $50,000 per year less than comparable male colleagues who hold the same title and do the same job, according to the department’s own analysis. She is not the only one: the psychology department’s own studies show that female full professors earn an average of $25,000-$30,000 per year less than their male colleagues.

Freyd is a pioneer in her field, the psychology of trauma, and an outspoken advocate for sexual assault survivors. She is also well known for her betrayal trauma theory and research on institutional betrayal.
The Psychology Department has known about its gender wage gap for years. In 2014 and 2015, Freyd and her colleagues sent analyses of the department’s full professor salaries to department leadership. While they showed statistically significant gender disparities in pay, no corrective action was taken. In January 2017, Department Head Ulrich Mayr sent a memo to the College of Arts & Sciences Deans pleading for a raise for Prof. Freyd to address the discrimination, but the UO refused. A copy of the memo can be found memo.

“For years, I have tried to work within my department and the College to help the UO live up to its own policies of non-discrimination,” said Freyd. “Women all over the country and in all kinds of jobs earn less than their male counterparts. It’s past time for the UO to recognize and address this problem in its own salary practices.” A timeline of events is here.