Aimbridge Hospitality and its parent company recently agreed to settle a pay discrimination lawsuit with a handful of employees.
Aimbridge Hospitality, LLC and AH 2007 Management, LP, the former owners of a Courtyard by Marriott hotel in Monroe, LA, recently agreed to settle a $ 400,000 discrimination lawsuit with some employees. According to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), companies will also provide other non-monetary relief.
What happened? According to the lawsuit filed by the EEOC in the US District Court for the Western District of Louisiana, Monroe Division, Aimbridge “paid a male guest service agent $ 15.25 an hour while he was a female receptionist and female guest service agent paid $ 11 or less per hour. “The lawsuit found that the company eventually began to” pay female supervisors $ 16 an hour, but illegally lower the pay of the male agent instead of increasing the pay of the female agent as required by law ” .
Seal of the EEOC; Image courtesy of the US Government via Wikimedia Commons, https://commons.wikimedia.org
According to the complaint, the company’s conduct violated the Equal Pay Act of 1963 and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits gender pay discrimination. Fortunately, Aimbridge agreed to settle the lawsuit, entering into a three-year consent decree that not only provides for repayment and other damage to the female receptionist, female guest service representatives, and the male guest service representative whose wage rate Aimbridge has lowered, “requires but also that Aimbridge conducts training courses on wage discrimination. ” In addition, according to the Settlement, the company must “maintain anti-discrimination policies and records, publish anti-discrimination notices, submit regular reports to the EEOC and hire an economist to conduct regular equal pay studies”.
Rudy Sustaita, regional attorney for the EEOC’s Houston District Office, said on the matter:
“Employers need to prevent gender pay gaps … and when such inequalities arise, employers need to correct them immediately by increasing the wages of the poorly paid worker.”
Andrew Kingsley, a litigator in the EEOC’s New Orleans Field Office, also interfered, saying:
“If there is a wage gap, an employer must have a good reason – and gender is never a good reason – for that difference.”
The lawsuit was filed by the EEOC New Orleans office, which is part of the EEOC’s Houston District Office. The Houston District Office covers part of Texas and Louisiana. Finding and combating wage discrimination is a top priority for the Office and is even included in the EEOC’s strategic enforcement plan.
Overall, the EEOC is working to improve workplace opportunities by enforcing federal laws to prevent and combat discrimination in the workplace.
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