Kansas City nursing home to pay $40,000 to settle pay discrimination claims

Gavel and old law books (court or trial)

Edgewood Manor OPCO, LLC, a former owner of Edgewood Manor, a skilled nursing facility in Raytown, Mo., will pay $40,000 and furnish other relief to settle a sex pay discrim­ination lawsuit filed by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

According to the EEOC’s lawsuit, 12 female licensed practical nurses (LPNs) who worked at the facility from 2017 to 2020 were paid less than male LPNs doing the same job. Specifically, the company paid female LPNs $20 to $26.50 per hour based on years of experience while paying male LPNs with the same or less experience $25 to $27 per hour.

Paying women less than men for doing a job with the same required skill, effort, responsibility, and under the same working conditions violates the Equal Pay Act of 1963 (EPA) as well as Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The EEOC filed its lawsuit (Equal Employment Opportunity Commission v. Edgewood Manor OPCO LLC, et al., Civil Action No. 4:19-cv-760-GAF) in U.S. District Court for the Western District of Missouri after first attempting to reach a pre-litigation settlement through its concili­ation process. The EEOC originally sued on behalf of only one female LPN, but during litigation dis­covered 11 additional women who were also paid less than men.

Judge Gary A. Fenner approved the consent decree awarding $40,000 in monetary damages to the 12 female LPNs. The decree requires OPCO – which no longer owns the facility – to engage pro­fessionals to review its pay practices and report to the EEOC to ensure compliance with the EPA if it resumes operation of any skilled nursing care facility in Missouri, Kansas, Oklahoma, Nebraska, or Illinois during the decree’s two-year term.

Equal pay for equal work is a straightforward principle that has been the law for almost 60 years,” said Andrea G. Baran, the EEOC’s regional attorney in St. Louis. “Employers simply cannot pay women less than men for doing the same job.”

Jack Vasquez, Jr., director of the EEOC’s St. Louis District Office, said, “Women continue to face barriers to equal pay. The EEOC will vigorously enforce the EPA until pay discrimination based on sex is a thing of the past.”

The EEOC is responsible for enforcing federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination. The St. Louis District Office oversees Missouri, Kansas, Nebraska, Oklahoma, and a portion of southern Illinois.