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Employer sued for gender-based pay discrimination

Employers in New York and around the country are not allowed to underpay employees based on their gender. If an employer pays higher wages to male employees for doing the same work as female employees, the employer could be violating Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Equal Pay Act of 1963.

On Nov. 26, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission filed a lawsuit against a company for paying a female worker less than a male worker who did the same work. The California-based concrete company, Spec Formliners, Inc., is accused of paying the female sales representative a lower base pay than the male sales representative. According to the lawsuit, the female employee was also required to close more sales than the male employee in order to earn the same amount of money in commissions.

The EEOC reportedly attempted to reach an out-of-court settlement with the concrete line company before the lawsuit was filed. On behalf of the female worker, the EEOC is seeking compensation for damages that include back wages, liquidated damages, compensatory damages and punitive damages. A spokeswoman for the EEOC said that the issue of equal pay for equal work is among the agency's top enforcement priorities.

Female employees who believe that they are being paid less than their male coworkers for doing the same work may want to speak with an attorney. If the procedures set forth in the company manual for reporting grievances have been followed but the problem hasn't been corrected, then the attorney might recommend filing a wage dispute claim with the EEOC or the state agency having jurisdiction over these types of matters.

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