On Wednesday, September 27 the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) announced a lawsuit against the Enoch Pratt Free Library and the city of Baltimore, MD for violating federal law by paying female librarian supervisors lower wage rates than a male coworker.
The EEOC has filed three lawsuits alleging gender-based pay discrimination in the D.C. metro area. The defendants were George Washington (GW) University, National Association for Education of Young Children (NAEYC), and Vadar Ventures, Inc. who acted on behalf of Total Quality Building Services. The suits were filed after pre-litigation settlements failed in all three cases. The GW and NAEYC cases were filed in the U.S. District Court of Washington. The Total Quality case was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia (Alexandria Division). The EEOC is seeking back pay, compensatory, punitive, and liquidated damages, in addition to injunctive relief to discontinue the discriminatory practices.
The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has filed a suit against CSX Transportation stating the company has created discriminatory barriers for women seeking jobs with the company. Since 2008, CSX Transportation has used an isokinetic strength test known as the IPCS Biodex as a requirement for workers to be selected for various positions. This test measures the upper and lower body muscle strength of workers. The EEOC has found that women have passed this test at a lower rate than their male counterparts and alleges a discriminatory impact on females that were seeking positions such as Conductors, Material Handlers/Clerks, as well as various other positions.
The Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) continues to demonstrate its focus on steering and compensation discrimination by entering into a conciliation agreement with Vulcan Information Packaging (Vulcan) facility located in Vincent, AL. OFCCP alleges, Vulcan, owned by Ebsco Industries, Inc, discriminated against women in their Operatives Job Group 7 by hiring them into lower paying positions compared to men in the job group. Additionally, the agency alleges women in the job group, who had at least five or more years’ tenure, were paid significantly less than similarly-situated men.
The use of a previous salary as a factor in setting starting pay has been a frequently debated topic. Many groups have argued that using pay history in setting starting pay has the risk of perpetuating pay discrimination that may have occurred in previous jobs. Some states are considering legislation that would ban employers from asking about previous pay and, in 2016, Massachusetts became the first state to ban asking about pay history. The issue is under current scrutiny in the case of Rizo v. Yovino. The United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit recently held that prior pay could be used as a defense for a pay disparity in certain circumstances because it is a factor “based on any other factor other than sex” under the Equal Pay Act (EPA). In the newest twist, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and employee advocacy groups recently asked the Ninth Circuit to revisit its decision, arguing that reliance on prior salary “perpetuates” what the EPA sought to correct.
Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) has entered into a conciliation agreement with Aramark Uniform Services to settle allegations of hiring discrimination against male applicants and placement discrimination, or steering, against female hires, both for production positions in the contractor’s Evansville, IN facility. Aramark is a provider of uniform services and supplies, and the Evansville, IN location provides both uniform rentals and uniform services.
In May 2017, Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) entered into a conciliation agreement with Guntersville, AL protective clothing supplier Kappler, Inc., to settle allegations of steering within its hiring process. The agreement alleges that between December 2012 and December 2014, Kappler, Inc. failed to consider female applicants for Cutter and Floor Worker positions, while placing only female applicants in Sewer positions.
Circuit courts throughout the country have not come to a consensus when it comes to interpreting a critical portion of the federal Equal Pay Act, and whether it permits employers to base an employee’s salary on prior pay history alone. An April 2017 decision in the Ninth Circuit has added to the growing debate around this issue.