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Lombardi Law Firm

Claimants bringing suit for wage discrimination are limited to a smaller amount of damages

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The Iowa equal pay law enacted in 2009 allows employees to garner protection against wage disparities resulting from discrimination based on protected classes (age, race, religion, sex, sexual orientation, disability etc.).  The statute of limitations on these claims requires a party to file with the Iowa Civil Rights Commission within 300 days after the last occurrence of unequal payment; this means that a party can bring a claim for discrimination stemming from 1992, as long as there was an instance of unequal payment within the last 300 days.  However, the Supreme Court recently ruled that although nothing bars a party from bringing such an action stemming from unequal pay over a decade ago, the claimant will only be able to collect damages for wage disparities occuring after 2009.  The Court so ruled in a pending action wherein women employees of Allsteel in Muscatine are suing the company alleging that male employees received higher pay for similar work.  The ruling limits the plaintiffs' ability to collect damages for the unequal pay they had been receiving, and only allows them to collect damages for violations occuring from 2009 forward.  Fortunately for the plaintiffs however, Iowa law awards 2-3 times the amount of salary denied to the victim of wage discrimination.

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