EEOC Forgot the Primary Lesson from First-Year Civil Procedure Class
By: Jonathan Easton on May 23, 2012 11:02:58 PM
A sex discrimination suit brought by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) on behalf of three female attorneys against Port Authority was dismissed because the complaint was poorly drafted. The dictionary on Law.com defines complaint as follows: “Complaints are pleadings and must be drafted carefully (usually by an attorney) to properly state the factual as well as legal basis for the claim….” When granting the Port Authority’s motion to dismiss, Judge Naomi Reice of U.S. District Court in Manhattan concluded that the EEOC failed to show in their complaint that the three lawyers did the same work as their male counterparts who were paid more. The three lawyers went to the EEOC in 2007 and filed a complaint of employment discrimination. The EEOC investigated and found evidence to support their claims. After settlement attempts with the Port Authority failed, the EEOC filed a complaint in Federal court in 2010. The basis of the suit is that the Port Authority violated the Equal Pay Act, a federal requiring equal pay for equal work regardless of gender. The EEOC argued that the three female attorneys were paid salaries considerably less that their non-supervisory male counterparts and that disparity in pay cannot be attributed to factors other than gender. Judge Reice ruled that the complaint failed to show that the female attorneys performed the same job functions as the higher-paid male lawyers. "These allegations do not speak at all to the effort or responsibility required of the jobs," Reice wrote in her decision. The Port Authority celebrated the decision by reiterating their commitment to a merit-based pay system where employees are paid based on their performance and quality of their work not on their gender. The question of whether these three female attorneys were paid less because of their gender was never examined because the complaint was poorly drafted. Apparently, the EEOC employee who filed the complaint failed to remember his/her first-year civil procedure class that the complaint must clearly state factual and legal basis for their claim. To learn more about filing a complaint of employment discrimination, contact the EEOC. Exact Legal Review is a legal services firm providing document review by U.S. lawyers at offshore prices. Jonathan Easton, President of Exact Legal Review, managed the nation’s first mortgage lending discrimination testing program that resulted in a settlement with Fleet Bank for over $1 million. As part of an U.S. Federal Court monitor of Denny’s Restaurant, Jonathan managed the statewide discrimination testing of Denny’s Restaurant in Texas.  

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