Gender Discrimination plus Equal Pay Gap equals Huge Lawsuits

by on January 7, 2009 · 0 Comment POSTED IN: HR Info Center

Can you explain your Equal Pay gaps?

No law says you have to pay a woman the same as a man if the man has more experience, more training or longer tenure. You simply may not factor gender into the equation.

A female HR director at a school district learned that the other HR directors in her district – all men – earned more than she did.

And the men earned bigger raises. She quit her job (she was replaced by a guy who earned about 10% more than she) and filed a lawsuit claiming gender discrimination in pay.

In court, the employer couldn’t show that the men had more experience, training or tenure than the woman.

This case settled before a judge ruled. The employer agreed to pay $67,700 to the woman.

Cite: Gokay v. Pennridge School District.

Different title, same job, women earn less

A construction firm thought if it gave men and women different job titles for the same job, it could pay them differently.

Female employees were called “flaggers” and males were called “groundsmen.” Each performed the same work as the other – but the flaggers were paid less. One unhappy flagger flagged the EEOC, which filed a lawsuit against the employer.

This case settled for $29,526. Plus the employer agreed to train its managers on gender discrimination in the workplace.
Cite: EEOC v. Pioneer Associates.

Paid less than a male

When a female supervisor performs poorly, she may not take home as much as a male supervisor who does a great job. And that’s perfectly legal – as long as you can prove the disparity isn’t because of gender discrimination. Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company couldn’t prove it in court, and it cost them a bundle.

A former tire plant manager sued the company claiming she’d been forced into retirement and had been paid $20,000 to $30,000 less than a male in the same position.

Goodyear claimed she was paid less because she didn’t do as good a job. But the company couldn’t show enough documentation to support its argument. A jury sided with the plaintiff, awarding her $3.8 million in her sex discrimination lawsuit.

Cite: Ledbetter v. Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co., U.S. District Court, AL.

Underpaying female exec cost bank $71K

A female bank executive’s responsibilities were equal to those of a male counterpart, but she wasn’t paid as much.

That added up to a big verdict against the bank when she filed a sex discrimination lawsuit.

The court doubled the damages, from $35,600 to $71,200, after a jury found that the bank’s violation of sexual discrimination law was willful.

The executive testified that a board member told her men in the town needed to be paid more than women. The bank also had a personnel policy that spoke of the scheduling problems of “ladies… with children going to school” and said sick leave could not be taken for maternity leave.

Cite: Simpson v. Merchants & Planters Bank

Leave a Reply


Request a Free Demo

We'd love to show you how this industry-leading training system can help you develop your team. Please fill out this quick form or give us a call at 877-792-2172 to schedule your one-on-one demo with a Rapid Learning Specialist.