Two Texas-based hotel management firms have agreed to pay $400,000 to settle a federal lawsuit alleging gender pay discrimination at a hotel they operated in Louisiana.
In its lawsuit, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) said Aimbridge Hospitality LLC and AH 2007 Management LP (collectively, Aimbridge), the former operators of a Courtyard by Marriott hotel in Monroe, La., had paid a male worker 38% more than his female supervisor and at least 60% more than his female coworkers.
Aimbridge is based in Plano, Texas, and manages hotels nationally and internationally. The companies will pay $400,000 and provide extensive non-monetary relief to settle the lawsuit, the EEOC said.
According to the EEOC’s lawsuit, Aimbridge paid a male guest service representative $15.25 per hour while paying a female front desk supervisor and female guest service representatives $11 or less per hour. Aimbridge eventually began paying the female supervisor $16 per hour, but unlawfully reduced the pay rate of the male representative rather than increasing the pay rates of the female representatives, as the law requires, the EEOC charged.
Such alleged conduct violates the Equal Pay Act of 1963 and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibit sex-based wage discrimination. The EEOC filed its suit (Civil Action No. 19-914) on July 16, 2019, in U.S. District Court for the Western District of Louisiana, Monroe Division, after attempting to reach a pre-litigation settlement through its conciliation process.
The three-year consent decree resolving the lawsuit requires Aimbridge to provide back pay and other damages to the female front desk supervisor, the female guest service representatives, and the male guest service representative, whose pay rate Aimbridge reduced.
The decree also requires Aimbridge to conduct periodic training on pay discrimination; maintain anti-discrimination policies and records; post anti-discrimination notices; provide periodic reports to the EEOC; and retain an economist to conduct periodic pay equity studies.
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