It is not uncommon for employees in Chaska and elsewhere to be paid different hourly wages. This can be a result of any number of factors, including the duties the worker performs, qualifications and length of time with the company, among other things. According to federal and state employment laws, however, the difference in pay cannot be due to an employee’s gender.
A woman in Illinois reportedly claimed that she was the victim of workplace discrimination by former employer, the Madison County Board. She argued that she was paid just over half of what a male coworker was paid in their positions as student advocates for a truancy program. Her coworker had a starting wage of $21.26 per hour, while she started out making only $12.67. The woman claimed that when she complained, the superintendent told her she could find new employment. She also purportedly suggested that they were both let go when the program’s funding was discontinued, but that in retaliation for her having complained, only her male coworker was rehired when the grant was renewed.
According to reports, the case went to trial after the woman filed a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), but the two sides were unable to reach a resolution. The jury reportedly ruled against the woman on her claim of gender discrimination, but did find in her favor on the claim of wrongful discharge. The county will pay her a settlement of $487,500, which includes $100,000 awarded by the jury for the retaliation firing and other damages.
When notifying superiors or the EEOC does not yield results in stopping employment discrimination, workers may choose to pursue legal action against their employer. An attorney can explain the options and offer advice as to the best course of action.
Source: The Telegraph, “Ex-worker claimed sex discrimination,” Sanford J. Schmidt, Dec. 20, 2013