Posts Tagged ‘Equal Pay Act’

$145K Settlement in EEOC’s Equal Pay Suit Against Suburban Washington, D.C. Suburb

Equal pay for equal work is the law of the land but the battle for equal pay frequently plays out case-by-case in the courts.

The latest example: an expensive settlement of an equal pay suit reached yesterday between the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission against Prince George’s County, Md., a suburb of the nation’s capital.

According to the EEOC’s lawsuit, Joanna Smith had a bachelor of science degree in civil engineering and more than five years of engineering experience when she was hired for an Engineer III position with Prince George’s County’s Department of Environment (DOE). The EEOC said the county rebuffed Smith’s efforts to negotiate a higher starting salary matching her experience and education, but just two weeks later, hired a male for a comparable Engineer III position and paid him the higher salary he requested, even though they were performing substantially equal work.

Prince George’s County also promoted and paid a male Engineer III a higher salary than Smith, and paid another male Engineer II higher wages than Smith, even though he had less experience and performed less complex duties, the EEOC charged. Smith continues to work as an Engineer IV within the county’s DOE.

On March 21, after an earlier hearing on the EEOC’s and Prince George’s County’s summary judgment motions, U.S. District Court Judge Roger W. Titus ruled in favor of the EEOC, finding that the county paid Smith lower wages than it paid to male colleagues performing equal work, in violation of the Equal Pay Act of 1963 (EPA).

In addition to the $139,633 in lost wages and liquidated damages to Smith, and $5,769 in costs to the EEOC, the three-year consent decree resolving the suit enjoins Prince George’s County from engaging in sex-based wage discrimination in the future. The county will increase Smith’s salary by $24,723 to ensure parity with her male comparators. The county will also hire a consultant, who will ensure that the DOE’s compensation policies and procedures, and individual salary determinations, comply with the EPA. The consultant will provide training on federal anti-discrimination laws to the county’s position review board members and all managers and supervisors within the DOE. Prince George’s County will also report to the EEOC on how it handles any complaints of sex-based wage discrimination and post a notice regarding the settlement.

“We filed this lawsuit because Prince George’s County not only refused Ms. Smith’s efforts to negotiate a higher salary commensurate with her experience and education, it then continually paid her less than it paid her male colleagues even though she did equal, and in some cases, more complex and superior work,” said EEOC Supervisory Trial Attorney Maria Salacuse. “The court’s ruling confirmed that the county’s rationale for the disparity was unsupported by the record.”

EEOC Regional Attorney Debra M. Lawrence added, “Unfortunately, the wage gap between male and female workers continues to exist in all industries. The EEOC will take vigorous action against any employers, whether public or private, who engage in such blatant pay discrimination.”

EEOC Philadelphia District Director Spencer H. Lewis, Jr. noted, “Fairness and federal law mandate equal pay for equal work.”

EEOC Nabs $50K for Underpaid Custodian in Settlement of Lawsuit Against School District

A school district in Minnesota decided it was better to capitulate than fight a lawsuit alleging it paid a female custodian less than a male custodian though they both performed equivalent duties.

According to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, which filed the lawsuit against the Montevideo School District, the school district agreed to pay $50,000 to resolve the Equal Pay Act lawsuit.

The EEOC found that Montevideo School District failed to pay a female custodial aid wages equal to that of a custodian, a position which was held by her male coworker, even though the two performed job duties that were the same as or equivalent in skill, effort and responsibility. The custodial aid position is an hourly position and pays almost less than half of the salaried custodian position.

Following the investigation, EEOC determined that there was reasonable cause to believe that the school district was violating the Equal Pay Act of 1963 and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

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

Woman Collects $45K in Wage Discrimination Settlement Against Logistics Provider Company

On the campaign trail–particularly on the Democratic Party side–equal pay for equal work is a daily mantra.

But in the real world of slow-moving governance, achieving equal pay is happening case by case.

The latest case is one the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission filed against NFI RoadRail, LLC and NFI Industries, Inc., New Jersey-based businesses that provide logistics, transportation and warehouse services to manufacturers and retailers. According to the EEOC,  NFI paid a female director of intermodal operations in its Irving, Texas location less than three male directors. When her male counterparts were fired, she was put back into the job but paid a lower annual salary. The woman learned she was being paid less when she came across a pay stub of the male who had vacated the job she was moving into.

The underpaid female director will receive $45,000 in a settlement of this Title VII and Equal Pay Act lawsuit, the EEOC announced today.

Here’s the announcement with more background on the lawsuit and the terms of the settlement.

Wyoming Company Charged in Equal Pay Suit

Female accounting clerks in 12 states were illegally underpaid in comparison to their male counterpart for doing substantially similar work in similar working conditions, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission charged yesterday in a lawsuit against True Oil, LLC, a company headquartered in Casper, Wyoming.

The commission filed the Equal Pay Act lawsuit against True Oil and 9 associated companies, though the commission’s announcement didn’t specify which states the companies operate in.

“Enforcing the Equal Pay Act and closing the pay gap is a priority for the EEOC,” said EEOC Phoenix District Office regional attorney Mary Jo O’Neill.  “By enforcing the EPA, the EEOC ensures that women will be paid an equal and fair wage.  Unfortunately, Wyoming has the largest pay disparity between men and women in the country according to a 2014 report by the American Association of University Women.”

Read more about the lawsuit.

EEOC Sues Md. Agency for Equal Pay Violations

A Maryland state agency violated the Equal Pay Act by paying women less than men even though they performed the same work as the men, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission charged in a lawsuit filed last week.

The commission filed the suit on behalf of three female investigators and law enforcement agencies employed by the Maryland Insurance Administration, who it said were paid less than men in jobs that require substantially equal skill, effort and responsibility under similar working conditions.

The Maryland Insurance Administration is an independent state agency that regulates the insurance agency, enforces insurance laws and investigates complaints that state residents have about their insurance coverage.

To read more about the case, click here.

Female Clerks Due $60K Under Wage Settlement With Liquor Board

Government-operated liquor stores have to pay equal wages irrespective of sex just like any other employer. If they don’t, they are subject to suit under the Equal Pay Act and all of the negative consequences that follow.

So an EEOC announcement this week that it settled an Equal Pay Act lawsuit against the Worcester County, Missouri Liquor Control Board should serve as a warning to all other government bodies that they need to operate their pay practices on the right side of the law.

EEOC said that the county has agreed to pay $60,000 in back pay to make three female retail clerks whole for being shortchanged in wages compared to male clerks even though the men and the women did the same work.

The standard under the Equal Pay Act is that men and women must be paid the same for performing substantially the same work in similar working conditions.

As part of the settlement, the county will also have to offer one of the women a full-time job the next time one becomes available, subject to the recall rights of other laid off employees.

Here’s more on the case and the settlement.

Employer Underpaid Female HR Director, EEOC Charges

Probably the last person you’d want to deny equal pay to is the company HR director. The EEOC is bound to learn about that.

Royal Tire, a transportation company with commercial and retail locations throughout the Midwest, now finds itself a defendant in a Title VII and Equal Pay Act lawsuit filed by the commission last Friday.

According to the EEOC, the company paid its new HR director–a woman–less than her predecessor–a man, to the tune of $35,000.

The EEOC contends that this unequal pay violates Title VII and the Equal Pay Act because Christine Fellman-Wolf was performing the same work as her male predecessor under similar working conditions.

Read more.