KANSAS CITY, Kan. (AP) — The federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission is suing the former operator of a Kansas pizza restaurant that it says offered a higher wage to a 17-year-old boy than to a female applicant of the same age.
The Kansas City Star reports that the commission filed the lawsuit Tuesday against PS Holding LLC, which used to own the Pizza Studio restaurant in Kansas City.
Jensen Walcott raised questions after learning in 2016 that her friend, Jake Reed, was told he would be paid 25 cents an hour more. The Pizza Studio manager then withdrew both job offers, telling the friends from suburban Bonner Springs it was against company policy to discuss wages.
The pizza chain later said the female manager was wrong and had been dismissed. The teens were offered their jobs back, with equal pay, but they had found other jobs.
The commission’s suit alleges that the company violated the Equal Pay Act of 1963, which makes it illegal to pay men and woman unequally for doing the same job. The federal law also makes it illegal to retaliate for contesting such action.
Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton was among those who weighed in on the situation. Afterward, the teens told their story of pay inequality at the Democratic National Convention.