Female Franchise Sales Directors Paid Less Than Males, Federal Agency Charged
CLEVELAND — Health Management Group, Inc. (HMG) of Akron, Ohio will pay $260,000 to settle a sex discrimination lawsuit filed by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the agency announced today.
The EEOC’s suit charged that Krishna McCollins and Donna Davidson, both directors of franchise development, were paid less than a male who performed substantially equal work for HMG. Such sex-based wage discrimination violates the Equal Pay Act of 1963 and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The lawsuit, EEOC v. HMG, et al., Civil Action No. 5:09CV01762, was filed by the EEOC in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Ohio, Eastern Division, Akron, after the agency first attempted to reach a pre-litigation settlement through its conciliation process.
In addition to monetary relief, the consent decree settling the suit provides for training for all of HMG’s employees, managers, and supervisors on employee rights and employers’ obligations under the Equal Pay Act and Title VII and requires HMG to post an anti-discrimination notice to all employees. The decree also requires that HMG revamp its non-discrimination policies; implement discrimination complaint procedures; maintain records regarding complaints of discrimination received by HMG representatives; promote manager and supervisor accountability with regard to HMG’s anti-discrimination policies; and provide annual reports to the EEOC during the decree’s 30-month term.
“The EEOC will not tolerate discriminatory pay practices,” said Debra Lawrence, regional attorney for the EEOC’s Philadelphia District. “We are proud to announce this settlement, which comes in the wake of Equal Pay Day, an annual event which promotes public awareness of the continuing gender wage gap.” Equal Pay Day, which occurs on April 17, marks the end of the extra period of time that woman must work on the average in order to earn what a man did the year before.
The EEOC enforces federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination. Further information about the EEOC is available on its web site at www.eeoc.gov.