Written By ESR News Blog Editor Thomas Ahearn

On January 25, 2022, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) filed a lawsuit that claimed a School District in Wisconsin violated federal law by paying female special education teachers and a school psychologist lower wages than male employees doing the same work, according to an EEOC press release.

According to the lawsuit – EEOC v. Verona Area School District – the School District paid nine female special education teachers lower salaries than a male special education teacher since the 2019-20 school year. All nine had the same experience as their male colleague but made between $3,000 to $17,000 less than he did.

The lawsuit filed by the EEOC – a government agency that enforces federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination – also claimed that a female school psychologist had been paid less than a male school psychologist, making at least $16,000 less per year than he did since the 2017-18 school year.

The EEOC lawsuit claimed that the alleged conduct by the School District violates the Equal Pay Act (EPA) of 1963, which prohibits discrimination based on sex. The EEOC filed suit in U.S. District Court for the Western District of Wisconsin after first attempting to reach a pre-litigation settlement through its conciliation process.

The EEOC is seeking back pay, liquidated damages, the elimination of the pay dispar­ities, and other injunctive relief to correct and prevent future pay discrimination. For more information on equal pay and compensation discrimination from the EEOC, visit www.eeoc.gov/equal-paycompensation-discrimination.

Along with federal laws such as the EPA, some state and local governments are adopting regulations that prohibit employers from requesting salary history information from job applicants in order to narrow the gender pay gap. A list of states and localities that have salary history question bans is available here.

When an employer has a background screening firm perform past employment verifications as part of a pre-employment background check on a job applicant, it is critical that the screening firm knows which cities, counties, and states prohibit salary history questions, or else that employer could be fined or sued.

Employment Screening Resources® (ESR) – a service offering of ClearStar, a leading provider of Human Capital Integrity℠ technology-based services – offers employers customizable employment verifications that provide the salary history of applicants only if permitted by equal pay laws. To learn more, contact ESR today.

NOTE: Employment Screening Resources (ESR) – a service offering of ClearStar – does not provide or offer legal services or legal advice of any kind or nature. Any information on this website is for educational purposes only.

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