ST. LOUIS (Legal Newsline) — The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) announced a lawsuit June 12 against Heritage Bank for allegations of paying women and men unequally for substantially equal work.

"The law requiring equal pay for men and women is the oldest law the EEOC enforces," said James R. Neely Jr., director of the EEOC's St. Louis District Office. "It is unconscionable that women are still paid less than men for equal work in the 21st century."

According to EEOC, Heritage Bank of Wood River, Nebraska, hired Christine Schwieger in 2010. From 2010 to 2013, Schwieger and a female coworker in the same position made the same base salary. The other woman quit in 2014 and was replaced by a male employee who allegedly earned 33 percent more. Schwieger complained of the pay inequity, but the company took no action.

"Heritage Bank's failure to pay Ms. Schwieger fair and equal wages for equal work was manifestly unfair and illegal,” said Andrea G. Baran, the EEOC's regional attorney in St. Louis. “The Commission is dedicated to investigating claims of unequal pay and enforcing the law against employers who it finds have violated this important statute."

EEOC’s St. Louis District Office is responsible for enforcing employment discrimination laws in Missouri, Kansas, Nebraska, Oklahoma and a portion of southern Illinois.

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