On July 31, a Minnesota court ruled that a woman who spent five years as the HR director for Royal Tire Inc. was underpaid in her position due to her sex. The woman was paid $35,000 less annually than the man who had previously held her job and $19,000 less than the amount the company listed as its own minimum for the position. The company will be fined $182,500 and must also comply with the terms of a consent decree.
The woman held the position from 2006 to 2011. According to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, she attempted to resolve the issue by working with the company itself but was unsuccessful.
As part of the consent decree, Royal Tire must reportedly train its employees regarding the Equal Pay Act and Title VII. Both make discrimination in pay on the basis of sex as well as other factors illegal. Furthermore, the company must review its pay structure to ensure it is in compliance with these laws and immediately raise the salary of any employee who is not being paid fairly. Finally, the consent decree includes an injunction against future discrimination of any sort based on sex as well as prohibiting retaliation against employees who take a stand for their rights based on federal law.
Pay disparity based on sex is one type of employment discrimination, and individuals who feel they are not being treated equally may wish to consult with an attorney. They may be owed back pay as well as damages. Furthermore, there may be other employees within the company who are facing similar discrimination. Such a lawsuit may also make it easier for future employees to demand their federal rights be observed while working at the company.
Source: TireBusiness.com, “Royal Tire to pay fine for wage discrimination“, August 26, 2014