The federal government’s Equal Employment Opportunity Commission plays a large role in keeping the workplace fair for all workers. In some cases, the EEOC will pick up cases that involve large groups of employees and litigate them on behalf of the aggrieved employees. While the EEOC has a good success rate, it certainly isn’t perfect. In a recent case involving the EEOC, the Commission’s case was dismissed because it failed to provide specific information about the jobs of male and female employees when it was making a wage-discrimination claim.
EEOC v. Port Authority of N.Y. and N.J.
In the recent case of EEOC v. Port Authority of N.Y. and N.J., the EEOC claimed that the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey was paying male and female employees differently, although the two groups performed similar work.
However, the case was dismissed because the EEOC failed to provide the court with specific job descriptions for each category. For example, the EEOC claimed that the two groups of employees have “the same professional degrees,” work “under time pressures and deadlines,” and similarly utilize “analytical” and “legal” skills. However, the comparison of the two groups’ job functions ended there.
The court needed more specific information regarding what men and women actually did on a daily basis. Merely using the same skills was not enough to make out the claim of discrimination.
The EEOC is right about one thing. Men and women should be paid the same amount for equal work. However, what the EEOC failed to do was to prove that the work being performed by each group was, in fact, similar.
Perhaps, if the EEOC had submitted evidence documenting the daily work lives of several men and women from the Port Authority, the Commission would have been allowed to proceed with its case.
Evidence is Crucial in Employment Discrimination Cases
Although it is almost too obvious to be worth pointing out, the evidence that is submitted in favor of a claim is one of the most crucial things that an attorney can do for his or her client. In fact, the evidence that is submitted to the court is technically the only thing that the factfinder is permitted to consider when making a decision. If the evidence submitted doesn’t even make out a bare-bones case of discrimination, there is no way that the case will succeed.
Have You Suffered From Discrimination at the Workplace?
If you have recently been the victim of workplace discrimination, make sure that you consult with a dedicated employment discrimination attorney before proceeding with your case. You wouldn’t want to suffer the same fate as the Port Authority employees: having your case dismissed before the merits could ever be considered by a judge or a jury. If you are thinking of bringing an employment discrimination case, consult with a dedicated employment law attorney before doing so. Call (502) 890-9954 to set up a free consultation with a dedicated and skilled attorney today.
Seventh Circuit Overturns Lower Court Ruling on Indiana Title VII Prison Case, Kentucky Employment Lawyer Blog, August 8, 2014.
NLRB Finds That McDonalds Is a Joint Employer and Can Be Named in Worker Complaints, Kentucky Employment Lawyer Blog, August 1, 2014.