Jackson Law Firm

Gender-based salary inequity argument doesn't stand in court

Equal pay for women can be a hot-button issue for many businesses. It is important for a Houston company to ensure that its practices fall in line with the regulations that set certain standards. At the center of many wage and hour disputes are women who claim that they make less than their male counterparts solely on the basis of gender. As a recent incident illustrates, those claims may not always be substantiated, and it is important to consider all the angles of the situation.

The former vice president of communications and consumer affairs sued her previous employer, Anheuser-Busch, on the grounds of discrimination. The woman, who was with the company for 20 years and became the organization's highest-ranking female executive, also served as a strategist for the company. Her total compensation was roughly $1 million a year, which business leaders stated was comparable to what individuals at similar positions in other companies earn.

However, the woman’s male predecessor had been making twice that amount. In its defense, the company pointed out that the man had additional responsibilities, serving as an advisor to the organization’s former CEO. After a two-day deliberation, a jury of five men and seven women sided with Anheuser-Busch, noting that the business did not discriminate against the woman.

The woman noted that she was pleased that her case had at least started a conversation about equal pay. Any business threatened with a discrimination allegation should immediately contact an attorney. A lawyer can gather evidence to support a company and reduce the risk of a lawsuit or costly verdict.

Source: Houston Chronicle, “Former Anheuser-Busch executive loses discrimination lawsuit,” Alan Scher Zagier, May 16, 2014

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