Washington, D.C. – As a result of a March 29 decision in Maitland v. University of Minnesota, Ian Maitland’s decade-long challenge to the University’s female-only faculty pay raise will continue. U.S. District Court Judge Donovan Frank denied the University of Minnesota’s latest motion to dismiss, rejecting all four asserted grounds for dismissal, including legislative immunity, Eleventh Amendment immunity, standing, and failure to join a necessary party. The judge also denied, on technical grounds, Maitland’s request for certification of a class action. Maitland is represented by CIR.
A decade ago, when the University rewarded each woman on the faculty with a salary increase – regardless of whether her current salary was higher or lower than that of similarly situated male professors – Maitland sued under both the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment and the anti-discrimination statute Title VII. The University implemented the salary increase to settle discrimination claims by some of its female professors, even though its own study showed no significant pay disparity between male and female faculty members. The result of the settlement was sex discrimination against the University’s male professors.
This is not the first time Maitland’s case has been in this district court. In 1993 and again in 1996, the district court granted summary judgment in favor of the University of Minnesota. Both times, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit reversed, sending the case back to the district court. That is where the case remains, although appeals of the March 29 decision may by taken. Expressing frustration at the length of the litigation, Judge Frank noted that “Minnesota’s state university system appears to be plagued with distrust and even open hostility between its faculty and the system administration.” Such distrust and hostility is one of the unfortunate by-products of universities’ tendency to play favorites by handing out gender preferences, racial preferences, and the like.