Employer Settles EEOC National Origin, Unequal Pay Lawsuit Filed on Female Employee’s Behalf

The combination of not allowing a female employee to speak Spanish on the job and paying less for doing the same work as a man apparently as too much for an employer to stomach to fight in court.

So the company–Kevothermal, LLC which manufacturers vacuum insulation panels–decided to settle the national origin discrimination and pay equity lawsuit filed against it by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

Under the settlement, announced on Tuesday, the alleged victim, a Ms. Guerra who worked as a supervisor at the company, will receive $60,000, the EEOC said.

According to the EEOC, Kevothermal did not pay Ms. Guerra as much as a male supervisor, even though they performed the same job duties and had comparable experience and responsibilities. Instead, Kevothermal paid Ms. Guerra less, even after she complained about the disparate wages. According to EEOC’s suit, Ms. Guerra had worked for the company prior to the male supervisor’s hiring and, in fact, had trained him.

EEOC also alleged that Ms. Guerra, who is Hispanic, was instructed not to speak Spanish on the production floor, even though it was part of her job to do so. Specifically, Ms. Guerra translated for other employees who only spoke Spanish. Kevothermal’s restrictive language policy was national origin discrimination, in violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the EEOC charged.

Read more about the lawsuit and the terms of the settlement here.


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