Prof. Maitland settles his case against U. Minnesota

Will oversee gender equity in pay decisions

Washington, D.C. – After more than a decade in the federal courts (three decades if you count the underlying Rajender litigation at the University), the case of Ian Maitland v. University of Minnesota has settled.

Ian Maitland, a Professor at the University’s Carlson School of Management, had challenged in the federal courts a 1989 court-ordered consent decree and salary settlement agreement that gave all women faculty and academic employees at the University (the Rajender class) a salary increase.

Highlights of the Settlement

The highlights of the settlement recently approved by U.S. Magistrate Judge Arthur J. Boylan are as follows:

    • A commitment from the University not to favor or disfavor any employee on the basis of gender with respect to their pay.
    • A payment of $225,000.

Maitland as “Private Attorney General”

The non-discrimination clause in the Agreement is particularly notable since it means that any use of gender by the University as a factor in setting pay will be a breach of the University’s contractual obligation to Maitland. In effect, the settlement constitutes Maitland a “private attorney general” with oversight over gender equity in salary decisions at the University of Minnesota and gives him the right to seek a court injunction to bar any future pay discrimination on the basis of gender.

Maitland’s counsel

Maitland was represented by Mark Johnson & Joseph Nilan of the Minneapolis law firm Gregerson, Rosow, Johnson & Nilan, and by Michael Rosman of the Center for Individual Rights (CIR) in Washington, D.C. The CIR, along with local attorney Kirk Kolbo, represents the plaintiffs in the Grutter & Gratz cases against the University of Michigan that are pending before the U.S. Supreme Court.

Highlights of Maitland’s case

    • Ten years in the federal courts including three trips to the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals and an appeal by the University to the U.S. Supreme Court (which the Court declined to hear).
    • For the first six years of the case, Maitland represented himself (twice getting the 8th Circuit to re-instate his case after it had been thrown out by the U.S. District Court)
    • Ten U.S. District Court judges recused themselves from hearing the case.
    • Twelve law firms or lawyers declined to represent Maitland prior to the engagement of the Gregerson Rosow Johnson & Nilan law firm and the Center for Individual Rights in 1999.
    • The University attempted to use the case as a vehicle to get virtually blanket immunity from lawsuits for the University Regents (on the theory that their “legislative acts” enjoy absolute immunity).
    • The University also argued on states’ rights grounds that white males were not protected by Title VII from discrimination by state actors like the University of Minnesota. The University’s argument also drew an unusual editorial rebuke from the student-run Minnesota Daily.

The Plaintiff

Ian Maitland is a Professor at the University’s Carlson School of Management where he teaches business ethics and international business. He ran for U.S. Congress against the late Congressman Bruce F. Vento (Dem.) in Minnesota’s Fourth District in 1988, 1990 and 1992. Maitland is also a former columnist at the Minneapolis Star Tribune and former Senior Fellow at the Center of the American Experiment in Minneapolis.