Texas’ Denton County will pay $115,000 to a female former county doctor after a federal court entered judgment in favor of the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) in a pay discrimination lawsuit (EEOC), the federal agency announced.
According to the lawsuit, Dr. Martha C. Storrie worked as primary care clinician in the Denton County Public Health Department beginning in October 2008. The job duties of her position were primarily to provide medical treatment for Denton County residents in clinics operated by the County. In August 2015, Denton County hired a male physician to perform the same duties as her. However, when the newly hired clinician was brought on board, the county set his starting annual salary at more than $34,000 higher than hers. The Denton County director of public health then failed to take remedial measures in response to Storrie’s complaint about the unequal pay.
Such alleged conduct violates the Equal Pay Act and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which both prohibit unequal pay disparities which are based on gender as opposed to other factors such as qualifications and job duties. The Equal Pay Act makes it unlawful for employers to pay women less than men for a job requiring the same skill, effort and responsibility, performed under similar working conditions.
The EEOC filed suit in August 2017 in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas, Sherman Division (EEOC v. Denton County, Civil Action No. 4:17-CV-614) after first attempting to reach a pre-litigation settlement through its voluntary conciliation process.
The final judgment and order issued by Federal District Judge Amos L. Mazzant III on Oct. 24, 2018 awards Dr. Storrie $115,000 in damages. It also requires Denton County to implement a new written policy regarding the compensation policy for all new physicians in the public health department in Denton County. Denton County is also to provide training on equal pay for women and the posting of a notice at Denton County facilities.
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