Dutko v. Franklin County Pennsylvania et al.

Matukaitis brought suit on behalf of a former Franklin County EMS Director alleging, in part, that she was paid less than her male counterparts in violation of the Lily Ledbetter Equal Pay Act/Fair Labor Standards Act.  The County moved to dismiss the employee’s claims.  The federal court denied the employer’s motion, stating in part:


The amended complaint specifically avers that Dutko performed jobs substantially equal to male employees (Doc. 15, ¶ 171). Additionally, it states that both her predecessor and her successor in the position of Director of the Department of Emergency Management, who were males, were paid more than she during the times she assumed the position of Acting Director. (Id. at ¶¶ 20, 21, 48).  Thus, Dutko has averred that she received less pay than two specific individuals, Flasher and Donohue, to perform in the same position, which, arguably, would involve substantially equivalent skills, efforts and responsibilities. To the extent the individuals, their duties, and/or their attendant salaries, are distinguishable, defendants have available affirmative defenses to the EPA claim which they may assert. However, for purposes of a motion to dismiss, such allegations satisfy a plaintiff’s burden. See Ramsey v. State of Alabama Public Service Com’n, 86 F. Supp. 2d 1124, 1127 (M.D. Ala. 2000) (noting that an EPA claim can be established by comparing plaintiff’s wages to that of an employee of the opposite sex who either preceded or succeeded her); Tamayo v. Blagojevich, 526 F.3d 1074 (7th Cir. 2008), on remand 256 F.R.D. 175 (former state employee stated a sex discrimination claim under Title VII and the Equal Pay Act by alleging that she was female, facts regarding her salary as well as salaries of similarly situated male coworkers, her belief that she was paid less than male coworkers both because she was a female, and listing specific adverse actions by employer which she believed were on account of her gender).