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Appeals ruling favors EEOC

Workers in California that believe they are experiencing wage discrimination may be interested in learning about a recent decision issued by a federal appeals court. With a ruling of 2-1, the 4th United States Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission could proceed with a lawsuit against an insurance regulatory agency. The EEOC alleges that the agency may have compensated female employees less than their male counterparts working similar jobs.

Evidence was presented by the EEOC that indicated the agency paid three women, who used to be fraud investigators, less than it compensated four male fraud investigators that had comparable experience and credentials. The EEOC asserts that the women investigators earned up to $45,503 to $50,300 annually while the men were paid up to $47,194 to $51,561 a year.

A summary judgment that favored the agency was issued by a judge with the United States District Court in Baltimore. The judgment was overturned by two judges with the 4th Circuit.

The two judges did not issue a judgment on whether they believed that the pay difference between the female and male investigators was due to discrimination. The ruling was based on the belief that the EEOC had proven that there was a prima facie case of discrimination related to the Equal Pay Act. In a written opinion, one of the judges stated that the agency was not due the summary judgment unless the reasons the agency offered for the wage discrepancies could not have been rejected by a sensible jury.

Individuals who have been the victims of workplace discrimination may have legal recourse. An attorney that practices employment discrimination law may file charges with the EEOC against employers whose workplace policies allowed discrimination to occur based on an employee's sex, race or religion.

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