Press Release 03-31-2021

EEOC Sues New York School District for Equal Pay Violation

Hunter-Tannersville Central School District Paid Female Superintendent Less Than Male Superintendent for the Same Work, Federal Agency Charges

NEW YORK — The Hunter-Tannersville Central School District in New York violated federal law by paying lower wages to a female superintendent than it paid to a male superintendent performing work that required substantially equal skill, effort and responsibility, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) charged in a lawsuit it filed on Friday.

According to the EEOC’s lawsuit, Dr. Susan Vickers had over 26 years of work experience in education and educational leadership, as well as a doctorate in education. Still, the school district paid her less in salary and benefits than her male predecessor received in the same role.

Such conduct violates the Equal Pay Act. As President Biden proclaimed on March 24, National Equal Pay Day, “Ensuring equal pay is essential to advancing America’s values of fairness and equity as well as our economic strength here at home and our competitiveness abroad.”

The EEOC filed suit, Civil Action No. 1:21-cv-00352-LEK-ATB, in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of New York, after first attempting to reach a pre-litigation settlement through its conciliation process. In this case, the EEOC seeks back pay, liquidated damages and injunctive relief, including an order barring the school district from engaging in discriminatory treatment in the future. The case will be litigated by EEOC Trial Attorney Caitlin Brown and EEOC Supervisory Trial Attorney Kimberly Cruz.

“The Equal Pay Act was passed over 57 years ago, but still, women on average make only 82 cents for every dollar made by men,” said Jeffrey Burstein, regional attorney for the EEOC’s New York District Office. “Enforcement of the Equal Pay Act is an important and valuable tool we use to work to close this gap.”

Judy Keenan, director of the New York District Office, said, “Though 76% of the nation’s teachers are women, women hold only 27% of superintendent roles. When women do achieve a superintendency, they deserve to be paid the same as their male counterparts. The EEOC will continue to aggressively enforce federal laws to ensure this is the case.”

The EEOC’s New York District Office is responsible for processing discrimination charges, administrative enforcement and the conduct of agency litigation in Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, northern New Jersey, Rhode Island and Vermont.

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.