Case filed on the eve of Equal Pay Day
NEWARK, NJ – Today, Dr. Yvonne Schulman, represented by Kakalec Law PLLC, the National Women’s Law Center (NWLC), and Harrison, Harrison & Associates, Ltd., sued Zoetis, Inc. in New Jersey federal district court, alleging the company significantly underpaid her compared to at least two of her male colleagues who performed the same job but had far less experience. Dr. Schulman, a veterinary pathologist and the plaintiff in the suit, seeks to hold Zoetis accountable for its illegal gender pay inequity and discrimination.
The lawsuit alleges that Zoetis, Inc., a large international animal health company, paid one veterinary pathologist—who was a man with six fewer years of experience—over $100,000 more than Dr. Schulman. Another male veterinary pathologist with nineteen fewer years of experience was paid $70,000 more. When Dr. Schulman discovered the pay inequity, she raised the issue with HR and company officials, but the company refused to address this blatant sex discrimination.
“I was very surprised to learn I was making so much less than my male colleagues” said plaintiff, Dr. Schulman. “But I was sure I’d be given a raise once I informed management that I was aware of the issue. Instead, the company told me they wouldn’t change my salary. The wage gap thrives in secrecy, and so I feel it’s my responsibility to take the fight to court—for myself and for all women workers, especially for those who don’t have as many resources to get justice.”
Dr. Schulman is bringing claims against Zoetis for violations of the Equal Pay Act and Title VII, as well as New Jersey equal pay and antidiscrimination law.
“We are proud to represent Dr. Schulman in her courageous fight against gender pay inequity at Zoetis,” said Hugh Baran of Kakalec Law PLLC, who is representing Dr. Schulman. “Workers in all sectors of the economy deserve equal pay for equal work—period. Our firm is excited to partner with the National Women’s Law Center and Harrison, Harrison & Associates in this important and timely case.”
“Under our civil rights laws and under the most basic notions of workplace fairness, employers must provide equal pay for equal work,” said Sunu Chandy, NWLC’s Legal Director who is representing Dr. Schulman. “Dr. Schulman’s story is a stark reminder that women—in nearly every occupation and at all education levels—experience wage gaps that that impact earnings, morale, retirement decisions, and the overall wellbeing of women and our families.”
“The gender pay gap has persisted for far too long,” said David Harrison of Harrison, Harrison & Associates, who along with Julie Salwen is representing Dr. Schulman. “Our firm is proud to support Dr. Schulman in holding Zoetis to account for its pay inequity.”
Dr. Schulman filed her suit on the eve of Equal Pay Day, the day that marks how far into this year women working full-time, year-round must work to catch up to what men made last year alone. Despite women’s enormous gains in educational attainment, unequal pay pervades 94 percent of occupations, and shortchanges women hundreds of thousands of dollars over the course of a 40-year career. Women of color disproportionately face the harshest gender wage gaps: Latinas working full-time, year-round stand to lose more than $1.1 million dollars—and Black women close to $1 million—over their lifetimes. The lawsuit was filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey. A copy of the lawsuit can be viewed here:
Kakalec Law PLLC is a New York based law firm which represents employees in wage and hour, discrimination, and other employment matters, and also represents individuals with disabilities in civil rights and access matters. For more information, visit: https://kakaleclaw.com.
The National Women’s Law Center (NWLC) fights for gender justice—in the courts, in public policy, and in our society—working across the issues that are central to the lives of women and girls. NWLC uses the law in all its forms to change culture and drive solutions to gender inequity. For more information, visit: https://nwlc.org
Harrison, Harrison & Associates, Ltd. is a New Jersey & New York based law firm which represents employees in wage and hour, discrimination, and other employment matters.