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EEOC Sues Kansas School District For Paying Female Principal Less Than Male Principals

Unified School District 245 Violated Equal Pay Act, Federal Agency Charges

ST. LOUIS -- A Kansas school district violated federal law by paying women and men unequally for jobs with the same required skill, effort, and responsibility, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) charged in a lawsuit it filed.

According to the EEOC, Julie Rosenquist was hired by Unified School District 245 LeRoy-Gridley (USD 245) to be the principal of both Gridley Elementary and USD 245's Southern Coffey County Middle School in 2015. Although her male predecessor was paid a base salary of $50,000, she was paid only 90 percent of that, or $45,000. In 2016, after almost a year as principal, Rosenquist complained about the unequal pay and was given a small raise to $46,500, still only 93 percent of what her male predecessor earned. In 2017, when Rosenquist was replaced by another male, whom USD 245 paid $50,000, she filed a complaint with the EEOC.

Such alleged conduct violates the Equal Pay Act of 1963, which prohibits companies from paying women and men unequally for doing a job with the same required skill, effort, responsibility, and working conditions. The EEOC filed its lawsuit (Equal Employment Opportunity Commission v. Unified School District 245 LeRoy-Gridley, Civil Action No. 2:18-cv-2398), in U.S. District Court for the District of Kansas. The EEOC seeks monetary relief for Rosenquist, liquidated damages, declaratory judgment, and an order preventing future discrimination.

"The Equal Pay Act is now 55 years old," said James R. Neely, Jr., director of the EEOC's St. Louis District Office. "The EEOC is dedicated to investigating claims of unequal pay and enforcing the law against both public and private employers who it finds have violated this important statute."

Andrea G. Baran, the EEOC's regional attorney in St. Louis, said, "Ensuring equal pay protections for all workers is one of the Commission's six Strategic Enforcement Plan priorities. As pay disparities between men and women persist in the workplace, it is important that we enforce laws like the Equal Pay Act to narrow the gap and ensure an equal playing field for everyone."

The EEOC is responsible for enforcing federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination. The St. Louis District Office oversees Missouri, Kansas, Nebraska, Oklahoma and a portion of southern Illinois. 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.