Press Release 03-11-2020

EEOC Sues Covenant Healthcare for Wage Discrimination

Employer Pays Long-Term Female Employee Less Than Two Men Who Have the Same Job, Federal Agency Charges

DETROIT -- Covenant HealthCare, a non-profit health care system based in Saginaw, Mich., is violating federal law by paying a female employee a lower wage than two male co-workers who hold the same position, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) charged in a lawsuit filed today.

According to the EEOC's lawsuit, the female employee has worked for Covenant since 2008. When she became a business intelligence developer in February 2017, Covenant paid her a starting wage of $31.05 per hour. Three months later, in May 2017, Covenant transferred a male employee from a different department to become a business intelligence developer and paid him a starting wage of $39.16 per hour. Later that year, Covenant hired another man into the same position and paid him a starting wage of $35.05 per hour. The female employee continues to earn a lower wage than both males. All three employees perform equal work.

Such alleged conduct violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Equal Pay Act of 1963. The EEOC seeks to recover monetary compensation for the employee in the form of back pay, liquidated damages and punitive damages.  The EEOC filed suit (EEOC v. Covenant HealthCare, Case No. 2:20-cv-10662) in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan after first attempt­ing to reach a pre-litigation settlement through its conciliation process.

"Employers cannot continue to discriminate against women and perpetuate illegal traditions but must pay female employees equal pay for equal work," said EEOC Trial Attorney Karen Brooks. "The EEOC will litigate, when necessary, to ensure that employers recognize this basic principle."

The Detroit Field Office is part of the Indianapolis District Office, which oversees Michigan, Indiana, Kentucky and parts of Ohio. The EEOC advances opportunity in the workplace by enforcing federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination. More information is available at www.eeoc.gov. Stay connected with the latest EEOC news by subscribing to our email updates.