EEOC Files Pay Discrimination Lawsuit Against School District

Written by ESR news blog editor Thomas Ahearn

On January 25, 2022, the United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) filed a lawsuit claiming that a Wisconsin school district violated federal law by paying female special education teachers and a school psychologist lower wages than male employees doing the same work, according to a EEOC Press Release.

According to the lawsuit – EEOC v. Verona Area School District – the school district has paid nine female special teachers lower wages than a special teacher since the 2019-20 school year. All nine had the same experience as their male colleague, but earned between $3,000 and $17,000 less than him.

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

The EEOC lawsuit asserted that the school district’s alleged conduct violated the Equal Pay Act (EPA) of 1963, which prohibits discrimination based on sex. The EEOC filed suit in the 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 wages, damages, the elimination of wage disparities, and other injunctive relief to correct and prevent future wage discrimination. For more information on the EEOC’s Equal Pay and Pay Discrimination, visit

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

When an employer asks a background check company to perform prior employment checks as part of a job seeker’s pre-employment background check, it is essential that the company know 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 ClearStar, a leading provider of technology-based services Human Capital Integrity℠ – offers employers customizable employment verifications that provide applicants’ salary history only where equal pay laws allow it. 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. All information on this website is for educational purposes only.

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