U.S. District Judge Lance E. Walker ruled Tuesday that Northern Light Acadia Hospital violated the Maine Equal Pay Act by paying Dr. Clare Mundell less than her male colleagues for comparable work. Per the ruling, the hospital now owes her triple damages for lost wages, totaling over $200,000, according to Portland law firm Johnson, Webbert & Garvan LLP, which represented Mundell.
In October 2019, Mundell learned during a conversation with a male counterpart, identified in the complaint only by his initials, that he earned $90 per hour and that another male psychologist earned $95 per hour. She later learned that the two other female psychologists made $50 and $48.82 per hour, respectively.
Valerie Wicks, one of the attorneys who represented Mundell, said it’s important for workers to be able to openly discuss their compensation with colleagues.
“Maine law gives employees the right to disclose their own wages, and to ask about and disclose their co-workers’ wages, for the purpose of enforcing equal pay,” Wicks said in a statement. “As Dr. Mundell’s case shows, this freedom to talk about wages is key to equalizing pay. You can’t fix what you don’t know about.”
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