The city of San Antonio has now officially been served a lawsuit that claims two women at Animal Care Services were paid significantly less than their male colleagues doing the same jobs.
Their attorney, Lawrence Morales, points to clear evidence that the city violated the Equal Pay Act. He feels confident about data he said shows his clients were compensated less than the male managers at the city's Animal Care Services department.
"These are positions that are described by the city as being similar, having identical responsibilities and similar duties that require similar education and experience," Morales said. "And because the data confirms that men were paid more than women, we believe that that's going to show that there was a violation of the Equal Pay Act."
Morales said Jeanne Martinez and Christine Peden initially complained about a significant pay disparity to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. Then they went to the city, where he said the women were demoted, and in one of the cases, fired, for their concerns.
City Manager Sheryl Sculley said in a statement that the "city maintains a compensation philosophy that is based on qualifications, experience, education, performance and salary history to ensure fair and equal pay."
Sculley also said over the last nine years the city has been proactive in making equal pay a priority.
Morales stuck to evidence, though, that he claims proves the women made up to 30% less than men doing the same work. And what's really frustrating for his clients, he said, is that their concerns were overlooked.
"They raised questions about it immediately, and rather than addressing the pay disparity, the city retaliated against them," Morales said.
The city has 21 days to respond to the lawsuit and admit or deny each of the allegations raised.
Regarding his clients' complaints to the EEOC, Morales said it has made a recommendation that there is enough evidence to find cause that the city violated the Equal Pay Act. But, he said, the EEOC has not yet made a final determination in the case.