Nashville engine company paid a female employee less than a male performing the same work, federal agency charged
NASHVILLE – The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) announced today that Cummins, Inc., a manufacturer of diesel engines, will pay $77,500 and furnish other relief to settle an EEOC sex pay discrimination lawsuit.
The EEOC filed the lawsuit to obtain relief for a former female employee who performed the benefits enrollment position for Cummins at its business services facility in Nashville. The EEOC charged that Cummins paid the employee less than a male employee, even though they performed the same job duties. At the request of the female employee, Cummins conducted a salary review to determine if it was appropriately compensating her. Although Cummins determined it paid the female employee less than her male counterpart, Cummins did not change the female employee’s salary. When the female employee resigned almost a year later, Cummins still had not increased her pay to match the pay of her male coworker.
Such alleged conduct violates the Equal Pay Act (EPA) and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, both of which prohibit wage discrimination based on sex. The EEOC filed suit in U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Tennessee (EEOC v. Cummins, Inc., Civil Action No. 3:17-cv-01306) after first attempting to reach a pre-litigation settlement through its conciliation process. The lawsuit sought injunctive relief prohibiting Cummins, Inc. from disparately compensating employees based on sex, as well as back pay, liquidated, compensatory and punitive damages.
Besides monetary relief, Cummins entered into a two-and-a-half-year consent decree requiring the company to train its employees, including human resources and management personnel, on the requirements of Title VII and the EPA. Cummins agreed to report complaints of pay discrimination to the EEOC and permit the EEOC to monitor the company’s compliance with the decree. Cummins denied any liability or wrongdoing in the suit.
“Employers should provide men and women in the same workplace with equal pay for equal work,” said Faye Williams, regional attorney for the EEOC’s Memphis District Office. “Not only is it fair, it’s the law. As the fight against unequal pay in the workplace continues, the Commission remains committed to challenging pay disparity until we realize the goal of wage equality.”
Cummins is an American Fortune 500 corporation headquartered in Columbus, Ind. Cummins designs, manufactures, sells and services engines and filtration and power generation products.
The Memphis District Office of the EEOC oversees Tennessee, Arkansas and parts of Northern Mississippi.
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.