EEOC Says Building Materials Supplier Underpaid Women Due to Gender
SEATTLE – Glacier Northwest Inc. has agreed to pay $20,000 in back wages to two women to settle a lawsuit brought by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the agency announced today. According to company information, Glacier Northwest is the largest supplier of ready mixed concrete, sand, gravel, rock, cement and building materials in the Pacific Northwest.
According to the EEOC’s suit (EEOC, et. al. v. Glacier Northwest, Inc., No. C07-1530 JLR, U.S. District Court Western District of Washington at Seattle), the company violated the Equal Pay Act when it paid its female cement terminal operators at wage rates which were less than the rates paid to its male employees performing substantially equal work. The EEOC filed suit after first attempting to reach a voluntary settlement.
Under a consent decree filed with the federal court, Glacier Northwest agreed to pay $20,000 to the two women. The company also agreed to provide anti-discrimination training for its managers, supervisors and employees; establish policies and procedures to address discrimination issues; provide information to the EEOC concerning any future discrimination complaints; and allow EEOC to monitor the work site for the next two years.
“Discrimination against women is still a serious problem in the 21st-century workplace, especially in male-dominated industries,” noted EEOC San Francisco District Office Director Mike Baldonado. “This kind of antiquated thinking artificially limits the opportunities of hardworking, qualified women.”
EEOC San Francisco Regional Attorney William Tamayo added, “This case should remind employers that they cannot ignore their responsibilities under the Equal Pay Act. We are hopeful that this case sends a message to other employers engaged in discrimination that they may also be subject to litigation if they choose not to change their practices regarding equal pay for equal work."
The EEOC enforces federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination based on race, color, gender, religion, national origin, age and disability. The Seattle Field Office’s jurisdiction includes Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Oregon, and Washington. Further information about the EEOC is available on its web site at http://www.eeoc.gov.