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The EEOC is suing Amtrak for pay discrimination and retaliation, following allegations by a female HR manager at Philadelphia’s 30th Street Station that the railroad underpaid her because she is a woman. Sheila Davidson also claims Amtrak started excluding her from important meetings after she complained.

The suit alleges that Davidson had more relevant experience and carried a greater workload than two male regional HR directors, but received the same pay. Her lawsuit argues she should be paid more than the men.

Advice: It’s your responsibility to regularly evaluate employee pay to make sure gender-based bias hasn’t crept into the process.

Compare the pay of men and women who perform similar jobs. But don’t stop if it turns out they’re paid the same. Are they really doing the same work? Compare their workloads, the kinds of assignments they handle and the skills they need to do their jobs.

If there is a qualitative or quantitative difference, make sure that’s reflected in your pay scales.

Final note: Employees sometimes feel betrayed or angry when a co-worker files a pay-bias lawsuit. That makes retaliation a very real possibility. Guard against it! When co-workers act on their resentment, the company pays the price. Remind everyone to act professionally—and remind managers and supervisors that they have front-line responsibility for preventing retaliation.

If an employee complains about retaliation, assure him or her that you will fairly and promptly investigate the complaint. Document and preserve all correspondence related to your investigation.

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