PALMDALE – The now-defunct Guidance Charter School in Palmdale will pay $8,000 to settle a sex discrimination lawsuit filed by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the federal agency announced Thursday.
Guidance Charter School was determined to have paid a female math tutor a lower hourly rate than her male counterpart despite their jobs being the same, according to the EEOC. The agency said the employee complained of the unequal pay and the school failed to address the pay discrepancy.
Such conduct violates the Equal Pay Act of 1963 and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, according to the EEOC, which filed the suit in Los Angeles federal court after first attempting to reach a pre-litigation agreement through its conciliation process.
“We continue to see pay disparity between men and women in all different industries,” said Anna Park, regional attorney for the EEOC’s Los Angeles district office. “We encourage employers to evaluate their pay structure to ensure gender equity in pay.”
According to the California Department of Education’s website, Guidance Charter School has been closed since June 30, 2018.
The school was founded in 2001 by Muslim community leader Kamal Al-Khatib, who promised a non-religious educational program that would include Arabic language classes.
In January 2018, the Palmdale School District voted to close Guidance Charter School, citing questionable financial practices and poor academic performance.
The shutdown came as Guidance Charter school was constructing an 87,000-square-foot campus on Avenue R and 40th Street East, paid for with nearly $30 million in tax-free bonds, according to a report by the Los Angeles Times. [Read the Los Angeles Times story here.]
Previous related story: Feds sue Palmdale charter school for alleged pay discrimination