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Community Pharmacy to Pay $60,000 To Settle Equal Pay Discrimination Suit

San Diego Pharmacy Chain Paid Female Pharmacy Tech Less Than a Male Tech and Fired Her for Complaining, Federal Agency Charges

SAN DIEGO - CJMBS Pharmacies, Inc., dba Community Pharmacy, a pharmacy chain in north San Diego County, will pay $60,000 and furnish other relief to settle a sex discrimination and retaliation lawsuit files by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the federal agency announced today.

In its lawsuit, the EEOC charged that Community Pharmacy paid a female pharmacy technician upwards of four dollars an hour less than a male pharmacy technician, then fired her two days after complaining of unequal pay.

Such alleged conduct violated the Equal Pay Act of 1963 (EPA) and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1963 (Title VII). EEOC filed suit (EEOC v. CJMBS Pharmacies, Inc. dba Community Pharmacy, Case No. 3:16-cv-2410 filed on Sept. 26, 2016) in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California after first attempting to reach a pre-litigation settlement through its conciliation process.

As part of the consent decree, and in addition to paying $60,000 to the employee, Community Pharmacy will retain an external equal employment monitor who will assist the company in reviewing and revising its policies and practices to comply with the EPA, including the anti-retaliation provisions of the law. Community Pharmacy will also provide annual EEO training for employees, supervisors, and managers, post an employee notice, and undertake record keeping and reporting to the EEOC. The EEOC will monitor compliance with this agreement.

"Employers should be mindful that it is unlawful to retaliate against employees after they complain of discrimination," said Anna Park, regional attorney for EEOC's Los Angeles District, whose jurisdiction includes San Diego County. "Retaliation remains a serious problem and it is the most often alleged complaint of discrimination filed with the EEOC."

Christopher Green, director of EEOC's San Diego Local Office, said, "The EEOC is committed to enforcing federal laws to ensure women receive equal pay for equal work. It is unfortunate that some employers still do not adhere to this principle of fairness."

Enforcement of equal pay laws and targeting compensation systems and practices that dis-criminate based on gender is of one of six national priorities identified by the Commission's Strategic Enforcement Plan (SEP).

The EEOC is the federal government agency responsible for enforcing federal anti-discrimination laws in the workplace. Further information about EEOC is available on the agency's website at www.eeoc.gov. Stay connected with the latest EEOC news by subscribing to our email updates.