A few months ago, Hollywood took on a depiction of the first-ever gender discrimination case argued in the U.S. Supreme Court by Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who was later appointed to that same court as a justice by President Bill Clinton. The film is about a little-known tax case, Moritz v. Commissioner of Internal Revenue, in which Ginbsurg successfully argued that a $600 caregiver tax credit shouldn’t be denied to a man solely on that basis.
While it’s difficult to imagine in 2019 that so many laws – employment and otherwise – once distinguished so blatantly between men and women, what may be even more troubling is the fact that gender discrimination is still such a problem in practice. Our Los Angeles sex discrimination employment attorneys know that these cases still abound in all aspects of employment, including hiring, firing, wages, assignment of jobs, promotions, layoffs, benefits and other conditions of employment. Although these cases can be difficult to win, often plaintiffs – like the man in the $600 tax credit case – don’t do it looking for a windfall. They do it to ensure they and others won’t continue to face the same disparity.
Recently in Los Angeles, a charter school agreed to an $8,000 settlement in a gender discrimination lawsuit filed by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission over an alleged gender-based disparity in pay among school tutors.
According to information released by the EEOC, the charter school pay set the hourly rate for a female math tutor at one that was lower than that of a male math tutor – even though the two had the same job.
Claims for Gender Inequality at Work in California
Our Los Angeles gender discrimination lawyers continue to note disparities in wages between women and men in all industries and across all pay grades. This is a violation of numerous federal (and state) laws mandating employees be treated equally regardless of sex.
For example, the Equal Pay Act requires both genders be given equal pay for the same work. It’s not necessary that the work be identical, but it must be “substantially equal.” Keep in mind: It’s not the title of the job that determines whether a position is substantially equal, but rather the scope of one’s expected duties. In cases where it is found that wages are disparate, they can’t lower the compensation paid by the group of workers who have been benefiting. They must instead raise the rate of the workers who have been discriminated against.
Unlike many other types of employment litigation, workers alleging violations of the Equal Pay Act do not need to through the EEOC and can instead file their claims directly with the court. The statute of limitations on an EEOC charge and a lawsuit for violation of EPA is the same: 2 years from the date of alleged unlawful compensation OR 3 years from the date of a willful violation.
Know that even if you file an EEOC charge under the EPA, that doesn’t automatically extend your time frame for going to court. That’s why it’s generally a good idea to discuss your case with a private gender discrimination lawyer even if you plan to seek remedy through the EEOC as well.
Other potential gender discrimination laws that apply in employment litigation predicated on sex discrimination is Title VII, which makes it a crime to discriminate on the basis of gender with regard to wages and benefits. Usually a person who has a claim under the EPA usually also has a claim under Title VII. There is also federal law that prohibits discrimination in employment on the basis of gender, as well as several other protected classes.
Los Angeles Charter School Gender Pay Disparity Case Resolved
In the recent tutor case out of Los Angeles, the worker reportedly did not complain about the disparity, but employers are required to address these discrepancies. The EEOC settlement requires several correction actions in addition to the monetary damage award, such as employee training on gender discrimination and submission of annual reports to the EEOC ensuring payroll amounts are fair. It’s unlikely the charter school will be turning in those reports anytime soon, however, as they’ve reportedly been closed since last summer.
Contact the employment attorneys at Nassiri Law Group, practicing in Orange County, Riverside and Los Angeles. Call 949.375.4734.
Los Angeles Guidance Charter School Settles Sex Discrimination Lawsuit, Feb. 28, 2019, EEOC
More Blog Entries:
Federal Court “Tips” The Scales in Favor of Restaurant Workers, March 4, 2019, Los Angeles Employment Lawyer Blog