Ten Exploration and Production Companies Sued by EEOC for Sex-Based Pay Discrimination

U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC)
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Federal Agency Charges True Oil Entities Paid Female Accounting Clerks Less Than Male Accounting Clerk 

CASPER, Wyo. - Ten associated exploration and production companies operating in 12 states violated federal law by paying female employees lower wages than men, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) charged in a lawsuit filed today.

The EEOC says that Casper, Wyo.-headquartered True Oil, LLC and its associated companies (Belle Fourche Pipeline Company, Black Hills Trucking, Inc., Bridger Pipeline LLC, Butte Pipeline LLC, Eighty-Eight Oil LLC, Equitable Oil Purchasing Company, Toolpushers Supply Co., True Drilling LLC, and True Ranches, LLC) paid a class of female accounting clerks lower wages than it paid to their male counterpart who was doing substantially equal work under similar working conditions.  

Such alleged conduct violates the Equal Pay Act of 1963 (EPA), which prohibits discrimination in compensation on the basis of sex.  The EEOC filed suit, EEOC v. True Oil et al, Civil Action No. 2:15-cv-00074-KHR, in U.S. District Court for the District of Wyoming, after first attempting to reach a settlement through its pre-litigation conciliation process.  The lawsuit seeks lost wages and liquidated damages for the alleged victims, as well as appropriate injunctive relief to prevent discriminatory practices in the future.  

Enforcement of equal pay laws and targeting compensation systems and practices that discriminate based on gender is of one of six national priorities identified by the EEOC's Strategic Enforcement Plan.

"Enforcing the Equal Pay Act and closing the pay gap is a priority for the EEOC," said EEOC Phoenix District Office regional attorney Mary Jo O'Neill.  "By enforcing the EPA, the EEOC ensures that women will be paid an equal and fair wage.  Unfortunately, Wyoming has the largest pay disparity between men and women in the country according to a 2014 report by the American Association of University Women."

Rayford O. Irvin, district director of the EEOC's Phoenix District Office, added, "It's not just unfair when women are paid less than men when they do substantially equal work under similar working conditions - it's against the law.  The EEOC is committed to ensuring that all employees receive the equal pay they deserve."

The EEOC enforces federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination.  Further information about the EEOC is available on its web site at www.eeoc.gov. 

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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