Get our newsletters

Female CBSD teachers set to take lump sum of $151.2 million to settle pay discrimination suit, attorney says


There will either be a settlement soon in the four-year legal battle over alleged unequal pay by the Central Bucks School District to its women teachers or the matter will head to trial July 22.

On Thursday, at least two school board members and attorneys for both sides are scheduled to meet in Philadelphia for a settlement mediation conference with Federal Magistrate Jose Arteaga, said Ed Mazurek, the attorney representing the teachers. The meeting is U.S. Attorney Michael M. Baylson’s latest attempt to have the parties reach a settlement, he said.

Mazurek said Monday, his clients will be offering to settle the case for $151,228,875 in a lump sum payment. The amount includes back pay, attorney fees, major salary adjustments, as provided by the Equal Pay Act, among other factors, he said.

“For settlement purposes, plaintiffs are asking that all plaintiffs who are currently employed by the district be given credit for all the years of teaching experience prior to joining the District for purposes of Step placement on the current and future salary schedules,” said Mazurek.

Additionally, the offer states, the teachers’ “Step placement with full credit for their prior years of teaching experience would continue until their employment with (Central Bucks) ends.” The plaintiffs would also be placed one column higher on the salary schedules going forward “like at least one other male teacher was,” Mazurek wrote in an email.

Central Bucks adamantly denies the charges.

“We have conducted a comprehensive review of 1,100 men and women (teachers) and it is clear there was no unlawful discrimination based on gender or other protected class,” said Michael Levin, a Montgomery County attorney representing the district in the case.

Levin declined to discuss any settlement offer the district may have. “Settlement information is considered confidential,” he said Monday.

Any settlement would have to be approved by the judge.

Asked if the district is prepared to go to trial, Levin said, “absolutely.”

He dismissed concern over the judge’s repeated requests the parties reach an out-of-court agreement. “Courts in general try to have the parties settle,” said the attorney.

According to Mazurek, Judge Baylson has told both parties “the plaintiffs are likely to prevail” should there be a jury trial.

At the center of the far-reaching case are teachers’ claims that personnel records show numerous female teachers were improperly placed on lower steps (levels) of the salary scale than their male counterparts.

The first case was filed in 2020 by English teacher Rebecca Cartee-Haring. A second teacher, Dawn Marinello, filed a discrimination case in 2021 and the court permitted consolidation of the cases and certified a collective action. That allowed women teachers in the district dating back to 2000 to “opt-in” to the law suit.

The Equal Pay Act of 1963 sought to end wage disparity based on sex. It was signed into law on June 10, 1963, by Pres. John F. Kennedy as part of his New Frontier Program.

Join our readers whose generous donations are making it possible for you to read our news coverage. Help keep local journalism alive and our community strong. Donate today.