SA Councilman Cris Medina Renews Call For Independent Review Of Gender-based Pay Disparities

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San Antonio City Councilman Cris Medina says the city is ignoring former Mayor Juli├ín Castro's request for a third-party review of pay disparities between men and women who are city employees is unacceptable.

Last year, at Medina's urging, City Council approved a study to measure whether men and women with equal education and experience receive equal pay.

"Although the city's study indicated that there was little to no disparity, we later found out that the City of San Antonio lost a complaint to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission filed by two employees at Animal Control Services that opens the door for a federal lawsuit.," Medina said in an email to constituents.

That lawsuit was already filed last year, which the San Antonio Current previously covered. Here's an excerpt from that story:

Over the summer, Animal Care Services employees Christine Peden and Jeanne Martinez filed a complaint against the City after they discovered that they were paid less than their male coworkers for the same position as operations managers. In early October, a third female employee, Brenda Werts, who at the time worked in the Capital Improvements Management Services department, joined the federal lawsuit alleging pay discrimination and violation of the federal Equal Pay Act. Peden and Martinez also allege that the City retaliated against them after they voiced their concerns.

The EEOC, a federal agency responsible for investigating pay and employment discrimination, recently backed up the women, determining that the City did discriminate against them based on their sex. The EEOC also found that the City violated the Equal Pay Act when department officials sent the women "counseling letters" for speaking out against the pay disparities. The EEOC is now facilitating what's called "conciliation" between the women and the City to reach a settlement.

The federal lawsuit, which alleges that the City fired Martinez and demoted Peden, is proceeding separately. Lawrence Morales II, a local lawyer representing Peden, Martinez and Werts in the lawsuit, said they are currently in the process of collecting evidence and documents related to the case. Mediation efforts so far have been unsuccessful, Morales said.

In the coming weeks, Medina said he will initiate a campaign in an effort to get the city to hire a third-party to review equal pay for city employees. He released an online petition yesterday.

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