Female Employee Paid Less Than Male, Terminated After She Complained, Federal Agency Charged
CLEVELAND — Hyundai Ideal Electric Company located in Mansfield, Ohio, violated federal laws by paying a female employee less than a male employee for performing equal work and then firing her after she complained about the disparity, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) charged in a lawsuit filed today.
According to the EEOC’s suit filed in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Ohio, Eastern Division (Case: 1:10-cv-01882), Tabatha Wagner, an experienced female drafter, began her employment with the company in August 1, 2007, in the position of Design Drafter and was paid a salary less than that of a similarly situated male who was hired only months later. The lawsuit states that Wagner learned of the disparity and complained to Jon Shearer, the company’s Human Resources Manger on November 11, 2008. He subsequently terminated her employment on the next day, November 12, 2008.
Such alleged unequal pay, wage discrimination and retaliation violate the Equal Pay Act of 1963 and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The EEOC filed its lawsuit after first attempting to reach a voluntary settlement. The EEOC seeks monetary relief, an order requiring the company to implement new policies and practices to prevent discrimination, training on anti-discrimination laws, posting of notices at the worksite, and other injunctive relief.
Debra Lawrence, Regional Attorney for the Philadelphia District stated, “This case is an example that the wage gap is alive and well in America, with the typical full-time female worker making 77 cents for every dollar earned by her male counterpart. Employers should take note that the EEOC will not tolerate discriminatory pay practices.”
According to its web site (www.hyundaiideal.com), Hyundai Ideal Electric Co. is the market leader in medium power generators for gas, steam and hydro turbines, and diesel engines. The Mansfield facility is the company’s home office.
Over the last three fiscal years, the EEOC has seen a 30% increase in charges of wage discrimination based on sex. Through the administrative enforcement process alone, the EEOC obtained about $19 million in relief for victims of wage discrimination in FY 2009. The Commission is currently litigating 14 cases that include allegations of sex-based wage discrimination.
The EEOC enforces federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination. Further information about the EEOC is available on its web site at www.eeoc.gov.