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To Pay or Not to Pay

A former Prince George County female engineer, Joanne Smith, was recently awarded $139,633 in lost wages and liquidated damages by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) due to sex based discrimination. While Smith tried to negotiate her entry level salary when offered the position, the county did not pay Smith an equivalent salary to that of her male co-workers who had comparable or less experience than her, but who were doing the same job as her.

Because their actions violated the 1963 Pay Act, Prince George County agreed to the healthy payout to Ms. Smith, in addition to retaining a consultant to review its policies and salary scales for federal compliance and train all managers for the next three years.

 “The EEOC will take vigorous action against any employers, whether public or private, who engage in such blatant pay discrimination,” EEOC regional attorney Debra M. Lawrence said in a statement.