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Hodgson v. Behrens Drug Co.

475 F.2d 1041 (1973)

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Hodgson v. Behrens Drug Co.

United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit

475 F.2d 1041 (1973)

Facts

Behrens Drug Company (Behrens) (defendant) employed females as order clerks whose primary responsibility was to work in the warehouse filling orders and stocking shelves. Behrens also employed a group of male sales trainees who performed work that was substantially similar to that of the order clerks. Behrens paid its sales trainees a higher wage than its order clerks but justified the discrepancy by characterizing the sales-trainee job as part of a bona fide training program. The Behrens training program had no written or formal plan; employees rotated through warehouse jobs, but there was no specific end point, and advancement to salesman depended on an open slot; there was some formal training upon advancing to the final warehouse rotation; and employees were notified upon hiring that they were entering the training program. The sales-training program had never included a woman, and Behrens only recruited men because it believed women were not suitable for traveling. The secretary of labor (plaintiff) brought suit against Behrens for violation of the Equal Pay Act of 1963. The district court found that Behrens violated the act, and Behrens appealed.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Rives, J.)

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