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Minnesota company to pay $182,500 for violating Equal Pay and Civil Rights Acts

In the not so distant past, few women worked outside the home and earned their own incomes. When more women did start working, the vast majority only worked in fields that were traditionally female-dominated such as teaching and nursing. In the years since the women’s liberation movement of the 1960s and 1970s, great strides have been made in the U.S. with regard to women pursing higher educational degrees and building successful and lucrative careers.

According to the U.S. Department of Labor, as of 2012, roughly 58 percent of women age 16 and older worked outside the home and earned an income. During 1963, only roughly 38 percent of working age women held jobs outside the home. Despite the advancements in educational and career opportunities, today’s working women still only earn approximately 81 cents for every dollar earned by a working man.

To illustrate the inequities that still exist in pay between working men and women, a Minnesota company was recently ordered to pay $182,500 in relation to a wage discrimination lawsuit that was filed by a female employee. The human resources director filed a claim with the EEOC after discovering that her male predecessor had been paid $35,000 more per year. The woman also discovered that her employer’s own compensation policy dictated that she be paid at least $19,000 more than her annual salary amount.

Despite bringing the unfair pay discrepancies to her employer’s attention, the woman’s complaints fell on deaf ears prompting her to file a claim with the EEOC. The EEOC wage discrimination lawsuit was filed under the basis that the employer was violating both the Equal Pay Act and portions of the Civil Rights Act.

Women in the Twin Cities region who know or suspect they are not being equally or fairly compensated would be wise to speak with an attorney. A legal professional who handles matters related to workplace and sexual discrimination may be able to assist in pursing legal action.

Source: Pioneer Press, “St. Cloud auto shop paying $182,500 in wage discrimination settlement,” Nick Woltman, Aug. 4, 2014  

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