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EEOC Sues First Metropolitan Financial Services for Equal Pay Act Violation

Memphis Company Pays Female Branch Managers Less Than Male Counterparts For the Same Work, Federal Agency Charges

MEMPHIS, Tenn. - First Metropolitan Financial Services, Inc., a Memphis-based consumer loan and finance company, violated federal law when it paid a class of female branch managers less than their male colleagues for doing essentially the same work, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) charged in a lawsuit filed on September 18, 2018.

The EEOC's lawsuit challenged the company's compensation system which has paid female branch managers less than males performing the same job since at least 2010. These disparities involved branch managers at different company branches in different cities across Tennessee and Mississippi.  In 2017, a female branch manager who worked in for First Metropolitan in Tupelo and Fulton, Miss., brought the pay disparity issue to the company's attention. The company, however, refused to discuss the pay disparity or address her complaint.

The Equal Pay Act and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act prohibit pay discrimination on the basis of sex. The EEOC filed suit (EEOC v. First Metropolitan Financial Services, Inc., Civil Action No. 1:18-cv-00177) in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Mississippi, Aberdeen Division, after first attempting to reach a voluntary pre-litigation settlement through its conciliation process. The agency's Memphis District Office investigated the charge of discrimination.

"Enforcing laws that require equal pay for women and men performing the same jobs remains a priority for the EEOC," said Delner Franklin-Thomas, district director of the EEOC's Memphis District Office, which has jurisdiction over Arkansas, Tennessee and portions of Mississippi. "Equal pay is about fairness for everyone. Although we have made great strides in narrowing the wage gap between men and women, this case demonstrates that pay discrimination remains a serious problem in the workplace."

The EEOC advances opportunity in the workplace by enforcing federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination. More information is available at Stay connected with the latest EEOC news by subscribing to our email updates.