Female Welder Paid Less than Male Colleagues, Federal Agency Charged
CHICAGO - Isanti, Minn., winter recreation vehicle manufacturer SnoBear USA, Inc. has agreed to pay $20,000 to settle an equal pay sex discrimination lawsuit filed by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the federal agency announced today.
The EEOC's lawsuit charged SnoBear with violating federal discrimination law when it paid a female welder less than male welders with the same experience and skill levels. Title VII of the Civil Rights Act and the Equal Pay Act (EPA) prohibit pay discrimination based on sex. The EEOC filed its suit (Civil Action No. 18-cv-3446-JNE-KMM) in U.S. District Court for the District of Minnesota after first attempting to reach a pre-litigation settlement through its conciliation process.
SnoBear will pay $20,000 in monetary relief to the discrimination victim as part of a four-year consent decree settling the suit, signed by U.S. District Judge Joan N. Ericksen on Feb. 19. The decree also provides non-monetary relief intended to prevent pay discrimination in SnoBear's workplace in the future. SnoBear must train managers on Title VII and the EPA. During the decree's term, SnoBear will track pay by job title and gender and regularly report this data to the EEOC.
Greg Gochanour, the EEOC's regional attorney in Chicago, said the consent decree provides a good resolution for all involved.
"In addition to compensating the affected female employee, the decree will allow the EEOC to continue to monitor compliance for an extended period of time," said Gochanour. "We expect that by ensuring pay equity, the decree will also help SnoBear attract the most qualified workforce without regard to gender."
EEOC District Director Julianne Bowman added, "This settlement serves as a reminder that the EEOC enforces its laws in all sectors of the economy and on behalf of all workers, especially those working in sectors traditionally dominated by members of the opposite sex, such as welding."
The EEOC advances opportunity in the workplace by enforcing federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination. More information is available at www.eeoc.gov. Stay connected with the latest EEOC news by subscribing to our email updates.