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News Release

U.S. Department of Labor and Princeton University Reach Agreement To Resolve Pay Disparities in Professors’ Positions

NEW YORK, NY – The U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) and Princeton University entered into an early resolution conciliation agreement to resolve allegations of compensation discrimination. Princeton University has agreed to pay $925,000 in back pay and at least $250,000 in future salary adjustments to resolve allegations of compensation discrimination by OFCCP.

While not admitting liability in the investigation, Princeton University agreed to an early resolution conciliation agreement, and to enhance future compliance proactively.

OFCCP’s preliminary findings showed that – between 2012 and 2014 – pay disparities existed for 106 female employees in the full professor position at Princeton University. OFCCP found that Princeton’s actions did not comply with Executive Order 11246, which prohibits federal contractors from discriminating in employment based on race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, or national origin.

Princeton University will also take steps to ensure its compensation practices meet legal requirements and conduct statistical analyses to determine if any significant disparities exist against female full professors. Princeton also agreed to conduct pay equity training for all individuals involved in compensation decisions for full professors, including the consideration of factors that may result in pay disparities.

“The Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs is satisfied that Princeton University has pursued an early resolution conciliation agreement, and addressed the issues found in our review,” said Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs Director Craig E. Leen. “Early resolution conciliation agreements are an effective tool for contractors to ensure equitable pay to employees, enhance internal salary equity reviews, and proactively correct any disparities uncovered.”

“Princeton University is taking multiple proactive steps to promote pay equity and enhance its diversity initiatives that will help it comply with current federal laws,” said Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs Northeast Regional Director Diana Sen, in New York. “We look forward to continuing to work cooperatively with Princeton to implement the agreement.”

In November 2018, OFCCP launched an effort to resolve supply and service compliance evaluations at the earliest stage possible with corporate-wide compliance and issued a directive establishing Early Resolution Procedures (ERP). These procedures allow OFCCP and contractors with multiple establishments to cooperatively implement corporate-wide compliance with OFCCP’s regulatory requirements and efficiently resolve issues.

In addition to Executive Order 11246, OFCCP enforces Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Vietnam Era Veterans’ Readjustment Assistance Act of 1974. These laws, as amended, make it illegal for contractors and subcontractors doing business with the federal government to discriminate in employment because of race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability, or status as a protected veteran. In addition, contractors and subcontractors are prohibited from discriminating against applicants or employees because they have inquired about, discussed, or disclosed their compensation or the compensation of others subject to certain limitations, and may not retaliate against applicants or employees for engaging in protected activities. These laws also require that federal contractors provide equal employment opportunity through affirmative action. For more information, please call OFCCP’s toll-free helpline at 800-397-6251 or visit

The mission of the Department of Labor is to foster, promote and develop the welfare of the wage earners, job seekers, and retirees of the United States; improve working conditions; advance opportunities for profitable employment; and assure work-related benefits and rights.


Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs
October 5, 2020
Release Number
Media Contact: Leni Fortson
Media Contact: Joanna Hawkins
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