The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has announced a settlement with a major technology manufacturing company over sex discrimination and an equal pay lawsuit. This settlement includes $75,000 and other relief, according to the EEOC.
According to the lawsuit, the employee in question worked as an information technology (IT) analyst at the company starting on Sep. 2017. When starting employment at the company, the worker already had 24 years of experience in IT systems.
The company hired three male coworkers at the same time, all from the same employer, to work in the same department. The worker in question performed the same work, including assignments and tasks, as one of these male coworkers, however, received $17,510 less in annual pay than the other coworker. The employee reported enjoying her job with the company and feeling dismayed upon learning that she was receiving significantly lower pay than her coworkers and filed a complaint with the EEOC.
These allegations would be a violation of both the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Equal Pay Act (EPA), which both prohibit compensation discrimination on the basis of sex. In response to the employee’s allegations, the EEOC filed a lawsuit against the employer in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Texas after failing to reach a pre-suit settlement through the EEOC’s conciliation process.
Both parties eventually agreed to settle, and now the federal court has approved the consent decree. This settlement, in addition to $75,000 in compensation to the employee, requires the manufacturer to provide additional training on Title VII and the EPA to relevant employees and post notices of employee rights under these laws within the workplace. The company must also report certain information of employee reports of discrimination to the federal agency for the following two years.
This case should remind employers of their responsibility to ensure employees receive equitable pay for the same work without consideration of factors such as sex and age. Also, in many cities, employers face another risk in determining compensation from salary history bans.
Many cities and states ban employers from requesting salary history, and violations can result in significant fines. For this reason, it is important to ensure you are working with an employment screening provider you can trust to keep up to date with the ever-changing laws regarding salary history questions and other important factors concerning pre-employment screening.