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Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern

Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern

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Pritzker professor files federal age discrimination lawsuit against NU

Postlewaite+is+the+second-highest+tenured+professor+at+Pritzker+and+has+been+teaching+for+42+years+at+the+University.
Daily file photo by Colin Boyle
Postlewaite is the second-highest tenured professor at Pritzker and has been teaching for 42 years at the University.

Pritzker Prof. Philip Postlewaite has filed a federal lawsuit against Northwestern, alleging the law school has engaged in discriminatory compensation practices based on his age.

Postlewaite, 78, filed a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission in February, alleging he has received substantially lower increases to his base salary in comparison to who he calls younger, less experienced and less published colleagues after declining an early retirement package in 2013.

The EEOC issued a notice of right to sue in August, and Postlewaite filed his complaint in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois Monday. His suit includes claims under the federal Age Discrimination Act and the Illinois Human Rights Act.

According to the complaint, Postlewaite is the second-most tenured professor at Pritzker and has been teaching for 42 years at the University, but his current base salary falls $7,000 below the 50th percentile of the median base salary of law professors, which was $289,224 in the 2022-23 academic year. In legal academia as a whole, faculty paid in the 50th percentile generally have 20 years of experience, according to Postlewaite’s complaint. He has a total of 49 years of teaching experience.

The complaint further alleges that Postlewaite, who founded and leads Pritzker’s tax law master’s program, raised concerns about his pay with Pritzker Dean Hari Osofsky in March 2022. He said Osofsky responded to him in October 2022, saying she had completed a review of his salary and did not “see a basis for adjustment.”

Postlewaite’s attorneys and representatives for the University both declined to comment on pending litigation.

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Twitter: @selenakuznikov

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Twitter: @jacob_wendler

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