Butler County may have to pony up more than $100,000 to settle claims it discriminated against a small group of female county employees, all over age 40, who were forced to take pay cuts last year.
Butler County commissioners voted to reduce the women’s pay in what was to be the first wave in a round of salary rollbacks, but other cuts never materialized. That prompted three of the women to file EEOC age and gender discrimination charges against the county.
But given the high cost of fighting the complaint, county officials see little choice but to settle.
Another female employee, who didn’t complain to the EEOC, also plans to accept a settlement.
County Records Manager Rhonda Freeze found her salary trimmed from $85,772 to $69,899. A proposed settlement awaiting the county commissioners’ approval would give back $30,762, the amount Freeze lost through July 15. She was restored to her previous salary effective July 16. Freeze is also the mayor of Trenton.
Assistant Human Resources Director Laura Joy Campbell took a pay cut from $92,771 to $76,800 the same day Freeze’s pay was slashed. The county restored her previous salary on July 16. She would receive $24,818 in her proposed settlement.
Cynthia Brown was director of the County’s Child Support Enforcement Agency until her $101,000 salary was reduced to $96,000. She quit her job and filed charges with the EEOC. Brown and the county have yet to reach settlement terms.
Sue Vance, was demoted from her job as water and sewer director and replaced with a man. She did not file an EEOC charge, but has negotiated a settlement with the county that will pay her nearly $29,000.
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