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King v. Acosta Sales & Marketing, Inc.

678 F.3d 470 (2012)

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King v. Acosta Sales & Marketing, Inc.

United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit

678 F.3d 470 (2012)

Facts

Susan King (plaintiff) was a business manager at Acosta Sales and Marketing, Inc. (Acosta) (defendant) from 2001 to 2007. King sued Acosta under both Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Equal Pay Act (EPA), alleging that Acosta impermissibly paid men less than women and that Acosta subjected King to a hostile work environment. King presented a simple table of business managers’ salaries that lists managers’ gender, starting year, starting salary, and 2007 or final salary. Most men started at higher salaries than most women. Every man made more than every woman but one in 2007 or final salary. Acosta acknowledged that King’s sales were comparable to those of a man who made almost triple her salary. Acosta contested, stating that education and experience accounted for the salary differences. King did not graduate from college, but Acosta provided no additional educational evidence. Acosta’s national management set pay scales for positions that included ranges and target medians. Acosta’s general manager, Gary Moe, claimed that he set salaries subjectively and had no explanation for why he did not pay most women even the minimum salary in the nationally recommended pay-scale range for business managers. Acosta argued that Moe’s salary decisions were random rather than discriminatory. The district court granted Acosta’s summary-judgment motion, finding that most of the evidence in King’s hostile-work-environment claim was time barred and that she failed to prove under Title VII and the EPA that the wage gap was sex-based discrimination. King appealed.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Easterbrook, C.J.)

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