A group of 47 women’s and civil rights groups filed a brief in federal court this week in support of an ongoing equal pay lawsuit against the University of Oregon.
The brief was filed by the Equal Rights Advocates nonprofit. The groups that signed-on include the National Women's Law Center, the ACLU Women's Rights Project and others. They filed their friend-of-the-court brief Monday in support of UO psychology professor Jennifer Freyd.
Freyd filed a federal lawsuit against the university in 2017, claiming that she was being paid substantially less than her male colleagues, including several who were less experienced than her.
Back in May, the court ruled in favor of the university. Freyd appealed that ruling and her case is currently before the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals.
“It’s reassuring,” Freyd said of the support brief. “At the same time, it reminds me just of how important it is to address these issues — that they affect so many people. That support is there because so many people are affected.”
The American Association of University Professors also filed a separate brief in support of Freyd.
The University of Oregon believes Freyd is fairly compensated compared to her peers and is not being discriminated against.
"The university appreciates the concerns raised by professor Freyd and the advocacy groups who filed amici briefing for her case," said Kay Jarvis, director of public affairs and issues management for the university.
Jarvis said the university will be providing a more detailed response to Freyd's appeal sometime before its Nov. 22 deadline.