Winebrenner agrees to settle gender-pay discrimination case

By Clarissa Hawes, Land Line staff writer | 6/9/2014

A Hagerstown, Md.-based motor carrier, Winebrenner Transfer Inc., has been ordered to pay a former female driver $42,000. She filed a lawsuit with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, claiming her employment was terminated after she complained that she was being paid less than male drivers who worked for the company.

Tina Thompson started working for Winebrenner in April 2011. After discussing pay rates with male drivers, she claims she was being paid less than what the company was paying its male drivers.

According to court documents filed by the EEOC in September 2013, Thompson complained several times to the company’s owner, Randy Winebrenner, about unequal pay about a year after she had been with the company.

According to court documents, Winebrenner responded that he would pay Thompson what he wanted.

On June 11, 2012, Thompson sent another text message to the company owner, again about not being paid the same rate as the male drivers. She claims Winebrenner terminated her employment via text message the following day, according to court documents.

Thompson further claims she was retaliated against because Winebrenner gave negative references to her prospective employers. Court documents claim that Thompson had never been written up or disciplined for her conduct on or off the road during her time as a driver for Winebrenner.

As part of the EEOC settlement, Winebrenner has been ordered to pay Thompson $21,000, her full back pay, as well as liquidated damages of $21,000.

The company has also been ordered to implement and disseminate an anti-discrimination policy and complaint procedures to all employees and applicants.

In an EEOC news release, Winebrenner’s owner and vice president will take an anti-discrimination training course and must post a remedial notice regarding the settlement.

According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s SAFER website, Winebrenner has 12 power units and 12 drivers.

“Addressing gender-based pay discrimination and eliminating employment practices that discourage individuals from exercising their rights under our statutes are two of the agency’s national priority issues,” Debra M. Lawrence, regional attorney for the EEOC, said in a statement. “To stamp out pay discrimination, it is vital that employees can raise pay concerns with their boss without suffering from reprisal.”

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