The class action, gender discrimination law suit was filed in 1996 against St. Cloud State University. On December 7, 2001, U.S. District Judge Donovan Frank gave preliminary approval to an out-of-court settlement. The settlement affects an estimated 200 to 250 women. The plaintiffs alleged that women earned lower initial salaries then similarly situated male faculty, received fewer and slower promotions, and worked in a sexually hostile environment. They asked the court to allow the case to proceed as a class-action lawsuit so that any outcome would affect all similarly situated women faculty. The court agreed, creating a class of approximately 250 women employed by St. Cloud who were covered by the lawsuit.
Plaintiff Marjorie Fish said, "The goal of gaining equitable treatment for women in the academic work force is slowly beginning to gain a foothold. However, we must continue to work toward making it unthinkable to hire a woman for less than would be paid to an equally qualified man."
The program is sponsored by the UMD Commission on Women, Equity Education Office, Department of Psychology, Department of Women's Studies, and the American Association of University Women.
Note: The plaintiffs will be available for media interviews on March 26 from 3 to 4 p.m.; also after the panel discussion, or by special arrangement.