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Worker Wrongfully Fired For Complaining About Unequal Pay EEOC Discrimination Lawsuit Alleges

Businessman and businesswoman are standing on stacks of coins representing wages level. Gender gap and inequality.

For the past twenty years, our Marion County, Florida discrimination attorneys have fought for the rights of employment discrimination victims. Having extensive experience representing employment discrimination victims, our Ocala, Florida discrimination lawyers know that women continue to be paid less than men for equal work. In far too many case, employers continue to perpetuate the gender wage gap based on the misguided belief that a man should be paid more than a woman even though they perform the same work. In this article, our Marion County, Florida discrimination attorneys explain how a sex-based pay discrimination and retaliation case recently filed by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) demonstrates that federal employment discrimination law mandates that men and women must receive equal pay for equal work.

Employment Discrimination Lawsuit

In a press release issued on September 27, 2021, the EEOC announced that it has filed a sex discrimination and retaliation lawsuit against Jerry’s Chevrolet, Inc. (Jerry’s Chevrolet. On September 27, 2021, the EEOC filed the sex discrimination and retaliation lawsuit, United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. v. Jerry’s Chevrolet, Inc.,  Case No.1:21-cv-02464, in the U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland. The EEOC has filed the sex discrimination and retaliation lawsuit under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Title VII) on behalf of a former employee of Jerry’s Chevrolet, a woman named Dotterweich. The EEOC maintains that Jerry’s Chevrolet violated Title VII by subjecting Dotterweich to sex-based pay discrimination and by firing Dotterweich in retaliation for complaining about the wage disparity.

Equal Pay For Equal Work

Title VII prohibits employers from discriminating against employees on the basis of sex. Title VII forbids discrimination on the basis of sex in all aspects of employment, including pay, promotion, training, job assignments, discipline, and termination. In prohibiting sex-based pay discrimination, Title VII mandates equal pay for equal work. The equal pay for equal work mandate means that male and female employees who perform substantially equal work must be paid the same. In order to protect sex discrimination victims, Title VII also contains an anti-retaliation provision. Under Title VII, employers are prohibited from retaliating against employees who complain about perceived sex discrimination, including sex-based pay discrimination.

Sex-Based Pay Discrimination Alleged

In June 2018, Jerry’s Chevrolet hired Dotterweich and assigned her to work in their warehouse. Dotterweich was assigned to several positions within the warehouse, including parts puller, inventory specialist, and dispatcher. Almost six months after Dotterweich was hired, Jerry’s Chevrolet hired a man named Brown to work in the warehouse. Brown was assigned the position of dispatcher, at a semi-monthly salary of $1,787 plus a monthly bonus of $300. In October 2019, Jerry’s Chevrolet assigned Dotterweich to the position of dispatcher, at a semi-monthly salary of $1,400 with no bonus.

Both Brown and Dotterweich worked in the dispatcher position until September 8, 2020. Around the first week of September 2020, upon discovering Brown’s higher pay, Dotterweich complained about the pay disparity to the Director of Human Resources, a man named Joest. Joest told Dotterweich that he would look into it. One week later, Joest fired Dotterweich for making an obsence remark in the workplace. Upon being informed of the reason for her termination, Dotterweich reminded Joest that Jerry’s Chevrolet a few weeks earlier had learned of another employee viewing pornography at his desk who was simply written up. Joest responded, “well, that’s different.”

Lawyers For Discrimination Victims

The EEOC is the administrative agency of the federal government charged with administering, interpreting, and enforcing federal employment discrimination law. As part of its efforts to eliminate unlawful discriminatory employment practices, the EEOC brings lawsuits in federal court on behalf of employment discrimination victims, including sex discrimination and retaliation victims.

In a press release issued on September 27, 2021 regarding the case, a regional attorney for the EEOC’s Philadelphia District Office, Debra M. Lawrence, stated that “female workers in all industries deserve equal pay for equal work.” “Workers have the right to ask about perceived pay discrimination,” Ms. Lawrence added, “without being fired as a result and that is why we filed this lawsuit.” In commenting on the case, the Director of the EEOC’s Philadelphia District Office, Jamie R. Williamson, explained that “this case should remind employers to review their pay practices, correct, and remedy any unlawful pay discrimination, and ensure that no worker is retaliated against for exercising their rights protected under federal law.”

Marion County, FL Discrimination Lawyers

Based in Ocala, Florida and representing workers throughout Central Florida, our Marion County, Florida discrimination attorneys have litigated cases in Florida courts on behalf of employment discrimination victims for more than twenty years. If you have been a victim of employment discrimination or have questions about your protection from retaliation for exercising your employee rights, please contact our office for a free consultation with our Ocala, Florida discrimination lawyers. Our labor and employment lawyers take employment discrimination cases on a contingency fee basis. This means that there are no attorney’s fees incurred unless there is a recovery and our attorney’s fees come solely from the monetary award that you recover.

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