Cummins settles EEOC pay discrimination lawsuit

Staff Reports

NASHVILLE, Tennessee — The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission announced today that Cummins Inc. will pay $77,500 and furnish other relief to settle an EEOC pay discrimination lawsuit based on gender.

The EEOC filed the lawsuit to obtain relief for a female former employee who performed the benefits enrollment position for Cummins in its business services facility in Nashville, Tennessee, EEOC officials said.

The EEOC charged that Cummins paid the female employee less than a male employee, even though they performed the same job duties.

Cummins has denied any liability or wrongdoing in the suit. Cummins, based in Columbus, Indiana, is a U.S. Fortune 500 corporation designing, manufacturing, selling and servicing diesel engines and filtration and power generation products.

At the request of the female employee, Cummins conducted a salary review to determine if it was appropriately compensating her, according to the EEOC. Although Cummins determined it paid the female employee less than her male counterpart, Cummins did not change the female employee’s salary, the EEOC said. When the female employee resigned almost a year later, Cummins had not increased her pay to match that of her male coworker, the EEOC said.

According to the EEOC, such alleged conduct violates the Equal Pay Act and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, both of which prohibit wage discrimination based on sex.

The EEOC filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Tennessee after first attempting to reach a pre-litigation settlement, EEOC officials said.

The lawsuit sought injunctive relief prohibiting Cummins from disparately compensating employees based on sex, as well as back pay, liquidated, compensatory and punitive damages, according to the lawsuit.

Besides the monetary relief, Cummins entered in a two-and-a-half-year consent decree requiring the company to train its employees, including human resources and management personnel, on the requirements of Title VII and the Equal Pay Act.

Cummins agreed to report complaints of pay discrimination to the EEOC and to allow the EEOC to monitor the company’s compliance with the decree.

“Employers should provide men and women in the same workplace with equal pay for equal work,” said Faye Williams, regional attorney for the EEOC’s Memphis District Office. “Not only is it fair, it’s the law. As the fight against unequal pay in the workplace continues, the commission remains committed to challenging pay disparity until we realize the goal of wage equality.”

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