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PRESS RELEASE
7-27-16

Sealed Air Sued By EEOC for Sex-Based Pay and National Origin Discrimination

Federal Agency Charges Sealed Air Corp., d/b/a Kevothermal LLC, Paid Female Production Supervisor Less Than Male, Imposed Language Restriction

Albuquerque, NM. -Sealed Air Corporation, a protective packaging business, violated federal law by paying a female production supervisor lower wages than its male production supervisor and by discriminating against her because of her national origin, Hispanic, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) charged in a lawsuit filed today.

EEOC says that the Albuquerque-based Sealed Air Corp., d/b/a Kevothermal LLC, paid a female production supervisor lower wages than it paid her male counterpart who was doing substantially equal work under similar working conditions. Such alleged conduct violates the Equal Pay Act of 1963 (EPA), which prohibits discrimination in compensation on the basis of sex. Such conduct also violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Title VII) which prohibits wage discrimination based on sex. Additionally, EEOC alleged that Sealed Air imposed a restrictive language policy on the female production supervisor when it prohibited her use of Spanish at the workplace in violation of Title VII.

EEOC filed suit, EEOC v. Sealed Air Corp., d/b/a Kevothermal LLC, No. 1:16-cv-00852-WPL-LF, in U.S. District Court for the District of New Mexico, after first attempting to reach a settlement through its pre-litigation conciliation process. The lawsuit seeks lost wages, liquidated damages, compensatory damages, and punitive damages for the alleged victim, as well as appropriate injunctive relief to prevent discriminatory practices in the future.

Enforcement of equal pay laws and targeting compensation systems and practices that discriminate based on gender is one of six national priorities identified by EEOC's Strategic Enforcement Plan. 

EEOC Phoenix District Office regional attorney Mary Jo O'Neill stated, "Unfortunately, women in New Mexico today make an average of 79 cents for every dollar a man is paid for the same job. By enforcing the Equal Pay Act, theEEOC is attempting to ensure that women in New Mexico will be paid an equal and fair wage."

Derrick Newton, director of the Albuquerque Area Office stated "Fighting wage discrimination and closing the pay gap is a priority for EEOC. Such discrimination violates federal law and is unfair to women and their families."

EEOC enforces federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination. Further information about EEOC is available on its web site at www.eeoc.gov.