© 2020 Texas Public Radio
Real. Reliable. Texas Public Radio.
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations

Equal Pay For Equal Work: EEOC Asks City Officials To Meet With Women Who Alleged Discrimination

City of San Antonio

City officials however, defend their position, and tell TPR’s Ryan Loyd the women lost out because of a lack of performance, not because of their gender

The City of San Antonio and two women who claimed they didn't receive equal pay for equal work have been invited to meet informally and resolve their dispute before any lawsuits are filed.

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission ruled in favor of Jeanne Martinez and Christine Peden two weeks ago. They had said the City discriminated against them at their Animal Care Services jobs, because they are women. They said they were paid less as managers than their male counterparts.

The letter from the EEOC said the City pointed to a policy limiting salary increases to 5 percent for internal employees. It also stated that the managerial pay plan was clear that new employees would be paid at a minimum of the pay range.

But the letter also said the City admitted that policies allowed for higher pay if they had approval from Human Resources. However, the City also maintained that salaries were determined on experience, qualification and responsibilities, not gender.

First Assistant City Attorney Martha Sepeda told TPR in a statement that one of the women was fired for poor performance. The other didn't get the promotion she sought. “Salaries paid by the City are determined on the basis of experience, qualification, responsibilities, and performance, not gender,” said Sepeda in a statement.

“The City disagrees with the allegations by the individuals, one a former employee of Animal Care Services who was terminated for poor performance, and the other, a current employee of Animal Care Services who was not selected for a promotion she sought. The City has made important changes in personnel and operations at Animal Care Services in the last several years to improve services to the community. It will continue to defend the complaint and companion lawsuit vigorously,” her statement added.

The EEOC found that violations did occur, though, and have invited both parties to an informal conciliation process to resolve the case. If a settlement isn't reached, the commission can take legal action in court.