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PFERD Milwaukee Brush to Pay $65,000 In EEOC Pay Bias Suit

Company Refused to Pay Female Employee as Much as Men, Federal Agency Charged

MILWAUKEE, Wis. - A federal magistrate judge in Milwaukee has entered a consent decree resolving a job discrimination lawsuit brought by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) against PFERD Milwaukee Brush Company, Inc.

According to the EEOC's suit, PFERD violated federal law by not paying Dawn Fuchs the same salary that it paid her male predecessor as purchasing coordinator.

Denying a female employee equal pay for work which is the same as a male employee's in skill, effort, and responsibility, and which is performed under similar working conditions, violates the Equal Pay Act of 1963 (EPA) and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The EEOC filed suit in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin after first attempting to reach a pre-litigation settlement through its conciliation process.

The consent decree settling the suit (EEOC v. PFERD Milwaukee Brush Company, Inc., Civil Action No. 2:12-cv-982), entered on May 8, 2013 by U.S. Magistrate Judge Nancy Joseph, provides that PFERD will pay Fuchs $65,000 and prohibits future discrimination. Also, PFERD will train its employees, managers and supervisors regarding sex discrimination, an employer's obligations, and the rights of employees under the EPA and Title VII.

"Equal Pay Act cases are a priority for the EEOC," said John C. Hendrickson, regional attorney of the EEOC's Chicago District Office, which is responsible for EEOC litigation in Wisconsin, Illinois, Minnesota, Iowa, North Dakota and South Dakota. "We are as committed to ensuring that women earn the same money for doing the same work as their male counterparts. We appreciate PFERD's willingness to provide relief for Ms. Fuchs and to prevent any further sex discrimination in its facilities."

According to its website, PFERD is the American subsidiary of August Ruggeberg GmbH and Co. of Marienheide, Germany, a 214-year-old world leader in the design and manufacture of abrasive tools, power brushes, maintenance brushes and power tools. PFERD is located in Milwaukee.

The EEOC's litigation efforts were led by Senior Trial Attorney Dennis R. McBride of its Milwaukee Area Office and Associate Regional Attorney Jean Kamp of its Chicago District Office.

The EEOC enforces federal laws prohibiting discrimination in employment. Further information about the agency is available on its website at