Both lawsuits alleged pay differences based on sex
Former operators of a Courtyard by Marriott Hotel, Aimbridge Hospitality and AH 2007 Management and Omni Hotels were involved in lawsuits filed by female employees alleging that the companies paid them less than their male counterparts.
Sarah Lindsley, a former food and beverage director at an Omni Hotel in Corpus Christi, Texas alleged that the hotel chain discriminated against her by paying her less than the three males who preceded her in the same position at the same location. Lindsley worked for the Omni Hotels for 16 years, rising to the director position. Her starting salary was more than $11,000 less than her predecessor’s starting salary and averaged $5,000 less than the starting salaries of the two previous directors.
The district court granted summary judgment for the hotel company, stating that the plaintiff failed to show that her job was the same as the men in questions. The 5th Circuit disagreed and stated “if there is a good explanation for that disparity, Omni is required to put one forth if it wishes to prevail in this litigation.” Now that it has been sent back to the lower court, we will have to wait to see the outcome.
Aimbridge Hospitality and AH 2007 Management
The former operators of a Courtyard by Marriott hotel in Monroe, LA entered into a three year consent decree and will pay $400,000 in back pay and other damages to settle a pay discrimination lawsuit initiated by the EEOC. Aimbridge Hospitality and AH 2007 Management will also 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.
The lawsuit claimed that the company 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. The supervisor’s wage was eventually brought up to $16 per hour but the company reduced the pay rate of the male representatives instead of increasing the pay rates of the female representatives.
In various EEOC complaints and lawsuits, we have seen pay inequity issues across gender and racial lines. Additionally, many states are recognizing this issue and are implementing pay data reporting laws. Pay audits conducted on a regular basis can help employers reveal and correct any potential discriminatory practices.
If you would like to take preventative measures to evaluate your pay practices, OutSolve’s Pay Equity Analysis Services are available to assist you. Please reach out to your consultant for further information.