University of Arizona Gender Discrimination – Collective Action

Case name: MacCorquodale, et al. v. Arizona Board of Regents

Case type: Gender Discrimination

Filed in: [U.S. District Court for the District of Arizona]

Docket: [Case No.: 4:18-cv-00028-RCC]

Case Summary

In 2018, Sanford Heisler Sharp filed a collective action on behalf of two former academic deans against the University of Arizona (“UA”) Board of Regents. The Amended Complaint alleged gender discrimination, in violation of Title VII, and violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), and the Equal Pay Act (EPA).

The Plaintiff in the original Complaint, Patricia MacCorquodale, was the former Honors College Dean at UA. An Amended Complaint added Plaintiff Janet Cervelli, former UA Dean of the College of Architecture, Planning, and Landscape Architecture. The Plaintiffs brought the action on behalf of similarly situated female UA deans. Joan Shaver, former Dean of the UA College of Nursing, subsequently became the third Plaintiff in the lawsuit.

The Complaint alleged that Dr. MacCorquodale and Ms. Cervelli, as female Deans, were paid substantially less than their male counterparts and suffered gender-based mistreatment, despite their distinguished records of accomplishment and contributions to academic life at UA. The Complaint also alleged that neither the UA Provost nor the Regents responded to their complaints about the unfairly low salaries. The Complaint alleged that this was consistent with a common practice at UA of underpaying female Deans. The Complaint also alleged that UA retaliated against the Plaintiffs in response to their complaints about the lack of equal pay.

In 2019, the parties reached a settlement.